Why now is the best time to get into flight training

You may be thinking about or even decided to begin your flight training to pursue a career in aviation. Then the pandemic hits, and now you are not so sure. If this described you, the timing could not be better.

Things in the industry are “taking off” – pun intended.

As we slowly work our way to a new normal, with over 100 million Americans vaccinated and TSA checkpoint numbers rising, one thing is clear – Americans are ready to travel again!

On March 25, 2020, the number of people that went through a TSA checkpoint was roughly 200,000. Compare that to March 25, 2019: over 2.1 million – quite a difference. As of this writing, we saw over 1.4 million people go through TSA to board an airliner, and those numbers continue to show a steady rise.

Recently, the CEO of American Airlines Group Doug Parker said, “our last three weeks have been the best three weeks since the pandemic hit, and each week has been stronger than the last.”

Delta, United, Southwest, Spirit, and others have all also experienced a boom in bookings. United, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, and also Silver Airways, a regional based out of Ft. Lauderdale, have all also added additional routes to their service not offered pre-pandemic due to new market demand. That being said Legacy and Regional carries alike, are all recalling furloughed pilots and other company personnel. As the demand continues to increase so will the demand for pilots.

Now that we’ve briefly discussed the current ongoings of the industry, let’s finally get into what you want to know.

Why is now the time to pursue this career?
Simple: the timing couldn’t be better.

Pre-pandemic Legacy, Low-Cost Carriers(LCCs), and Regional carriers were hiring mass amounts of pilots. The reason? Mandated retirements. Mandated retirements at Legacy carriers, if you add the numbers up on AirlinePilotCentral.com, by 2025 will require over 8,000 Pilots to retire. The 8,000 does not include the LCC’s or Cargo operators’ mandatory retirements so really the number is a lot larger.

You may be wondering why I chose to only add up retirements to 2025? 2025 is projected to be the year in which the industry has fully recovered. That’s not to say hiring will halt in 2025, quite the contrary. Legacy carriers will always have pools and pools of applicants to choose from. Regionals are the airlines that will be your first stepping stone into the airline world. These airlines will need to hire as many Pilots as they can attract and are the ones you should be paying the most attention to.

Pre-pandemic, Regionals were doing anything and everything to attract as many Pilots as they could. Some offered “shiny new jets”, quick upgrades, and flows to their Legacy owners. Others even offered attractive signing bonuses ranging anywhere between $18,000-$50,000.

Will we see all those benefits being offered then, again? Most likely not until regionals are hurting again for applicants. Will that be pre or post-2025? It could be either but whether you’re prepared for that rests entirely on you.

Do some personal research about the industry. With all the positive news coming in and the timeline given to full recovery, starting your training today could possibly get you in front of a Regional interview board in 2-½ years.

BE PREPARED FOR THE NEXT HIRING WAVE AND GET TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE BY STARTING YOUR TRAINING TODAY. A career in aviation can be a rewarding one and there has and may never be a better time to break into it than now. You know what needs to be done, now go do it. Hope to see you on the line, Blue Skies, and fly safe!

Still not sure you’re ready to start a career in aviation?

Sign up for a discovery flight today!  

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