Summer is just starting, and it looks ugly for staffing.
Everyday...every single day...my airline has cancelled flights for something completely controllable. No pilots.
More often it's not enough Captains. I find this odd as my first day here they said they "only hire Captains". Zing!
It's only going to get worse as Captains and First Officers are bailing for other airlines. Some are going to JetBlue, Virgin America, Spirit and US Airways. Others are going corporate while a few are leaving the industry all together.
Maybe this "pilot shortage" is starting to show up after all.
My airline can't get enough pilots in the front door to balance out how many are leaving through the back. On average 20 pilots a month are leaving my airline, while rumor is barely 10 are being hired. Of those hired, not all are passing training.
The busy summer schedule is just ramping up. This could get ugly quick.
There is no quick fix. At present if someone wanted to fly for an airline and had zero hours it would take at minimum 2 years to get enough time, and that's if they flew just about everyday for those two years.
I forecast (based entirely upon my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and second major in Sociology!) that my airline will shrink. We will get bigger planes and fly them with less frequency.
Instead of flying to Little Rock 8 times a day with a 50 seater, we will fly there 4 times a day with a 76 seater.
I'm not moving on just yet. Some of my friends have bailed to Virgin America and are happy. The thing is they commuted to my airline, so commuting to Virgin is still a commute, but with better pay. I'm content driving to work and driving home....for now.