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Less than half the world's pilots make a living from flying: global survey

MORE than half of the world's airline pilots are no longer flying for a living, according to a worldwide survey highlighting how the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the profession

01 February 2021 - 19:00
MORE than half of the world's airline pilots are no longer flying for a living, according to a worldwide survey highlighting how the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the profession.

The Pilot Survey 2021, by aviation recruitment firm Goose and publisher FlightGlobal, showed just 43 per cent of pilots remain in their job. The October poll covered almost 2,600 flight crew worldwide.



While vaccinations remain aviation's great hope for a recovery, infection flareups and mutant variants of the virus have dashed prospects for a steady return of scheduled services.



The International Air Transport Association has said flying may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, putting a lengthy strain on the pilot profession, reports Bloomberg.



In the survey, 30 per cent of respondents described themselves as unemployed and 17 per cent said they were furloughed. Another 6 per cent still work in aviation but in a non-flying role, and 4 per cent had switched to a different industry altogether.



Of the regions represented in the survey, the US was least hard hit, with 20 per cent of pilots unemployed. China had the largest group of furloughed pilots at 24 per cent. In a sign of some optimism, almost three-quarters of pilots expect the industry to fully recover in one to three years.


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