* Airlines offer £354,000 salary TAX FREE as world faces massive pilot shortage
* Reports say the world needs 620,000 new pilots over the next two decades - and airlines are reaching out with huge salary offers to those that they can employ
By Emily Payne
A MASSIVE global pilot shortage is causing desperate airlines to raise salaries to $500,000 (£354,000) year. Due to increased demand in the travel industry, more planes are being ordered, so more pilots are needed to fly them.
Who will fly our planes? More people wanting to travel means the demand for pilots is ever-growing
In 2016, aircraft manufacturer Boeing predicted that the aviation industry would require 620,000 new pilots over the next two decades.
And in Asia, where people’s disposable income is increasing and flying for work or pleasure is becoming more common, many airlines are falling short.
“China is trying to attract pilots by paying $500,000 (£354,000) tax free,” says a BBC report.
Solutions such as airlines subsidising the cost of training and recruiting more women – who currently only account for 3 per cent of pilots worldwide – have been mooted. It can cost up to £120,000 to train as a commercial pilot
It currently costs anywhere between £40,000 and £120,000 to train as a commercial pilot and most airlines expect the student pilot to pay.
According to Flight Deck Friend a full-time commercial flight training course completed at a European flight school will cost upwards of £80,000 to around £120,000.
And on his blog Ask the Pilot, Patrick Smith explains: “Although pilots are earning more, overall quality of life is still suffering. And that’s because things are in panic mode.
“The industry is being reactive when it should have been proactive. The improvements we’re seeing should have been put in place years ago.
“Because they weren’t, numerous airlines now face chronic understaffing issues. This results in pilots being forced to work high-stress schedules with minimal time off.”
Last year the pilot shortage in the UK caused budget carrier Ryanair to cancel hundreds of thousands of flights.
Europe’s largest airline sparked outrage by cancelling 20,000 flights after admitting it did not have enough standby pilots to operate its schedule without significant delays.
It responded by promising pilots significant improvements in pay and conditions, exceeding rates paid by rivals, with negotiations to take place with each of its 86 bases individually.
The airline said: “Ryanair will continue to engage with the London Stansted ERC (Employee Relations Council) to understand how it can address their remaining concerns, especially as it will be recruiting new pilots in Stansted from November at these higher pay rates.”