Airline parks large percentage of fleet due to workforce shortage

Airline Geeks reporter, Parker Davis, described how a pilot shortage is affecting Emirates.

Although the pilot shortage has mainly manifested in regional flight cancellations in the U.S., the largest Persian Gulf carrier, Emirates, is reportedly ready to park 18 percent of its fleet.

 

Parker shares the following in his article.

In early April, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark held a press conference in Hamburg, Germany. This was just a few days after the airline had announced they would be cutting flights to their destinations in Florida, causing many to speculate that maybe the Gulf carrier was expanding too quickly for their own good, maybe not carrying the loads necessary to continue the flights. But Clark revealed the real reason.

“We’re a tad short in pilots,” he said. “But should be alright by September or October.”

He went on to discuss the difficulties Emirates continues to have competing with the contracts Chinese carriers are offering pilots all over the world to come fly for them. Airlines across China regularly offer pilots contracts up to and surpassing $300,000 per year to take on a job there. Additionally, those contracts can often allow them to commute from homes around the world, something Emirates—like other Gulf carriers—does not offer.

Pilots, both in the UAE and here in the U.S. are worried at the ramifications of this move, as pilots for the Gulf carrier already report much more fatigue than their counterparts around the world as a result of their schedules. So with now reduced rest, already short layovers, and odd flight times, many are not yet sure how much further Emirates can stretch their pilots before it truly becomes an issue.

 

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