The corporate-controlled media (i.e., CNBC) claims that the "pandemic" is responsible for these losses, but we know better than that. Many transportation workers walked off the job and never returned because of the mandates, and that is a fact.
Now, major airlines are having trouble finding enough staff to keep planes in the air. The result is widespread cancellations of flights and the looming prospect of potential bankruptcies.
As a possible solution, at least one lawmaker is considering legislation that would raise the federally-mandated retirement age for airline pilots from 65 to 67 or higher. But will this fix the problem, and is it even safe?
A regional airliner has also suggesting reducing the flight-hour requirements necessary to join a major U.S. carrier. In other words, pilots would no longer need as much experience in order to get hired to fly your plane.
Earlier in the year, Delta Air Lines made waves after it dropped a hiring rule that required all pilots to hold at least a four-year degree. Now, a college education is no longer a prerequisite for flying planes at Delta.
Frontier Airlines is taking a different approach by trying to source new pilots from outside America's borders, including from Australia. And American Airlines has decided to try to sell bus tickets for shorter flight routes.
"The pilot shortage for the industry is real, and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren't enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years," said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby during his company's recent quarterly earnings call in April.
According to Kirby, there are now about 150 airplanes grounded among United's various regional airline partners because there are not enough pilots available to fly them.
While the jabs are partially to blame, it is also true that the plandemic restrictions halted pilot hiring by interfering with the training and licensing pipeline.
Normally there would be a steady stream of new recruits moving through the system to take the place of retirees, but for the past two years that process has been greatly disrupted by the government's lockdowns and mandates.
"I feel like I walked away at the pinnacle," says one former captain from a major airline who took an early retirement package in 2020 at the start of the plandemic when everyone was told to stay at home.
At that time, almost nobody was traveling so it only made sense to send workers packing. Now, however, that plan is backfiring in a major way as air carriers struggle to meet demand.
The airline industry is now desperately trying to train and hire pilots as quickly as possible, but it probably will not be enough to fix the problem. The pilot shortage could last years, or maybe even forever if the world continues its current collapse trajectory.
According to Kit Darby, a pilot pay consultant and retired United captain, major U.S. airlines are hoping to hire about 12,000 pilots just this year alone, which is about double the previous record in annual hiring.
"We never fathomed attrition levels like this," says Jonathan Ornstein, the CEO of Mesa Air Group, a regional partner of American and United that lost $43 million just last quarter due to flight cuts.
"If we don't fly our airplanes, we lose money."
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