Is an airline pilot career no longer viable?


New Member
I remember the days back in 1999/2000 when you could read one article after another about the coming pilot shortage that would cause major issues for the airline industry. The articles tended to focus on the following reasons:

[*]Massive pilot retirements in the next 15-20 years
[*]Increased demand for air travel

Obviously there have been major changes to the world we live in since these articles were written. Whether it be the terrorist attacks specifically or just the soft economy, the airline industry has been turned upside down.

As a potential career changer (30 yrs old), I am faced with many questions, but above all else, do the reasons cited in the past articles still hold true, assuming they ever did? I would think that retirements have to continue regardless of anything else, but what about the demand for travel? Assuming demand was flat -- yes, I realize it is actually down -- would the expected number of future retirements truly open up a sizeable number of new employment opportunities for new pilots, as opposed to existing, and soon-to-be displaced ones?
A lot of people say that there is no pilot shortage. But from my research, there will be many pilots reaching retirement age between 2005-2009. More will lose their medical, and not even make it to retirement age. I think now is a good time to start your training. Its 2002, by the time I finish training and am marketable for a job, it will be early 2004. Then a few years at a regional airline, and guess what? That puts me smack dab in the middle of the retirement peak. Thats the plan anyway.

The Turk.