Sunday, June 27, 2021

'I spent £70,000 on pilot training but can't get a job'

 Timothy Short loves flying and has dreamt of being a pilot since he was a child.It's seen by many as being a glamorous and exciting job, flying to beautiful locations with a big salary.But like many other qualified pilots, he is no longer in the aviation industry, which is now facing a very different reality after the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic

BBC NEWS

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Pilots have been made redundant or had schedules reduced, while there are few new opportunities.

His training cost more than £70,000, but he's been hit twice by turbulence in the industry.

First, his employer Flybe went into liquidation in 2020. Then, just as he changed jobs to British Airways, flights were grounded by the global pandemic and the work dried up.

Timothy took out loans to pay for his training and is now paying back £800 a month

According to a survey conducted in January this year, by aviation publisher FlightGlobal and Goose recruitment, only 43% of the world's pilots are still flying for a living.

Things have got so bad that the industry is advising would-be pilots to consider another profession.

Phil Flowers, from the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), says: "I wouldn't advise anyone to be a pilot. Frankly, don't do it.

"We estimate that the overall reduction in UK pilot numbers at the moment to be between 15% and 20%. In short, there's probably been a loss of around 5,000 pilots."

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