The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) reports that, according to the Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA), 2022 is on track for a record year for airline pilot hiring. Through October, 12 major airlines had hired 11,372 pilots. Projections call for a total of some 13,500 new hires by the end of the year, more than twice the number hired in 2021 (5,426), the previous record-holder.
Even at that, the pilot pipeline is still some 5,000 behind requirements cited by the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency cites a need for 18,100 new pilots per year to offset retirements among the current pilot population. In its latest Pilot and Technician Outlook, Boeing predicts that, over the next two decades, “602,000 new pilots, 610,000 new maintenance technicians, and 899,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global commercial fleet.”
According to AOPA, however, the demand has spawned sinister opportunism among unscrupulous bad actors. Boeing’s website warns: “These persons have been offering fraudulent employment opportunities to applicants and often asking for sensitive personal and financial information, including requiring candidates to arrange travel [with a complicit travel agency] for face-to-face interviews.”