October 1, 2022

Final summer time, when many vacationers struggled with flight delays or cancellations, airways repeatedly gave the identical excuse: not sufficient pilots to maintain up with demand.

Now one airline is attempting to draw extra pilots by eradicating monetary limitations to acquiring a license.

On Thursday, Mesa Air Group introduced it has bought 29 coaching plane for brand spanking new pilots to make use of for the federally mandated 1,500 hours within the air, and plans to probably purchase 75 extra over the subsequent yr.

Flight time isn’t free and infrequently presents a barrier to would-be pilots, so Mesa plans to offer interest-free loans to ease the burden. Airline-trained pilots will probably be eligible to fly as much as 40 hours per week at a value of $25 per hour, absolutely funded by Mesa.

Turn into a pilot

Mesa says the brand new coaching plane will type the core of Mesa’s pilot improvement program. “Our program would be the most cost-effective and one of many quickest paths to a long-term profession as an expert pilot,” stated John Hornibrook, senior vp of flight operations at Mesa, in a press launch. “We wish to make it as straightforward as potential for a complete new group of candidates to affix Mesa, together with and particularly individuals who might not have historically thought-about aviation.”

Those that reap the benefits of this system will even have precedence employment standing at Mesa and can repay their loans over three years whereas working for the airline, the place the primary yr pay fee is $100 an hour, in keeping with the corporate.

The scarcity of pilots will worsen

Earlier this month, the consulting agency Oliver Wyman revealed a report stating an current scarcity of 8,000 pilots within the business aviation trade, which is predicted to develop to 80,000 inside a decade.

“Pilot shortages may turn into a everlasting function of the aviation trade if we do not carry extra aviators into the system,” Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief government officer of Mesa, stated in a press launch. “If there should not sufficient educated pilots, clients undergo lack of service and excessive ticket costs.”

This system is to be launched in Florida and expanded to Arizona subsequent yr. As soon as absolutely carried out, this system is predicted to host over 1,000 pilots yearly and a couple of,000 flight hours per day.

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