More than half of the world’s pilots no longer fly: survey

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For the unemployed pilots in the survey, 84% said this was due to the pandemic. (Representative)

According to a new survey, more than half of airline pilots worldwide no longer fly to earn a living as demand plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic and those who still fly feel less valued by their employers.

A survey of nearly 2,600 pilots published Thursday by UK-based GOOSE recruitment and industry publication FlightGlobal found that only 43% were doing the job they trained, 30% unemployed, 17% on leave and 10% not flying.

Many pilots who are still flying have been exposed to deteriorating working conditions. For example, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd in Hong Kong introduced permanent wage cuts of up to 58%, and Turkish Airways and Singapore Airlines Ltd have temporarily lower salaries.

“We can see how the pandemic has impacted employed pilots as well,” said Mark Charman, chief executive officer and founder of GOOSE Recruitment, in a statement. “Many feel insecure about their jobs, more are planning to look for new roles this year, and many feel less valued by their employers.”

For the unemployed pilots in the survey, 84% said this was due to the pandemic. Before the COVID-19 success, there was widespread pilot shortages that had increased demand for airplanes and improved wages and conditions.

Now 82% of unemployed pilots would cut their wages for a new opportunity, the survey found.

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For those who kept their jobs, pilots in Europe said they were most stressed by COVID-19. Respondents cited the risk of contracting the virus, incoherent rules and the possibility of being quarantined during a rotation.

Forty percent of pilots said their mental health was affected by the pandemic, with the number being higher among younger pilots.

“The amount of stress and anxiety the pandemic caused me has permanently affected my outlook on life,” said one pilot interviewed.

(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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