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  • Writer's pictureAvaitors Maldives

Pilot Job Crisis, Who’s To Take Responsibility?

Student pilots currently in flight schools and those that have finished pilot training are heading towards an unpleasant road to crisis following the high number of student pilots in respective to the jobs available.

Photo: SP’s aviation

A pilot job has always been a career that many were interested in pursuing especially as youngsters in schools. In the past there was either a period of Pilot shortage or a period without that many jobs however eventually all received jobs without a significant waiting period whereas now it is set to become a  different scenario due to the high number of students in Pilot training.

The sudden massive rise in student pilots was the due to Ministry of Higher Education last year granting every pilot loan applicant with student loans resulting in over 500 students being provided with Pilot training loans.

At the time of this loan offering there were already 60+ students who finished Pilot training and were waiting for jobs where as another 60+ students were already attending flying schools in various countries.

Just before COVID-19 every single airline in the Maldives was growing but the COVID-19 impact slowed down the industry as airlines were hit hard. Airlines have recently started to regain pace however it still does not look entirely great for pilots.

As of now national airline Maldivian plans to add more ATRs and has plans to add Airbus A330s. Manta Air has been rapidly adding aircraft and will launch international flights in 2024. New carrier Beond eyes on adding whopping 20 jets and Trans Maldivian Airways too is adding more aircraft as the largest seaplane operator in the world. The Maldivian government also has initiated plans to launch an air ambulance service.

Although these developments would create jobs eventually over the course of the next five years or more it would still not be able to immediately cater for the 700+ pilots who would be jobs less in the next 2 years as on average pilot training can be completed in two years without any other factor affecting students thus all current student pilots would finish Pilot training by then.

This job is also a very technical job and experience is one key aspect in hiring pilots and for career progression thus projects such as the Maldivian A330 or Beond’s A320 expansion would not immediately be able to provide jobs to inexperienced pilots. Even experienced pilots currently in Maldives would require time to progress to these openings as the majority of Maldivian pilots are rated on turbo pro aircraft and not jets.

To put it in perspective even today all airlines in the Maldives combined there likely aren’t 700 pilots employed in the country thus aviation has to grow literally double in the next five years to cater jobs for all student pilots in training.

Furthermore, jobs would not be available for all of these students even abroad as nearly every country prioritizes locals for inexperienced Pilot jobs, and foreigners are employed only with sufficient experience.

At present nearly all pilots in all the airlines in the country employ locals and each growing year more locals replace expats. The number of local experienced pilots who leave abroad is also very low hence all these pilots who were employed in recent years would likely remain in jobs for years to come.

The majority of these students are under loans hence they have loans to pay without jobs. Who’s to take responsibility? What is the solution or is there even a solution? Many jobs are to open in the future however 700 job openings are questionable.



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