• Nitten Gokhaley

The prospects of becoming a pilot are awful right now

Updated: Jan 11

When it comes to the list of coolest jobs, flying a plane was considered amongst the top five options. But, the pandemic has proved to be a nightmare for the aviation sector.

Flying over majestic landscapes like a free bird is a dream for many. Several young students from around the world join Lufthansa Aviation Training Academy in Braiman, Germany. The course was suspended in March 2020, and the future of 700 would-be pilots has been left hanging since then.

“They just kept stalling; first, they said the course would start in May, then, September, then, next January. Since it is unclear, it is time for us to leave,” said one of the students who interacted with journalists.

Even after spending € 80 thousand and completing the course, there won’t be any guarantee that they would get a job. Thus, the institution is urging students to terminate the training contract and give up.

Lufthansa was saved from bankruptcy with the help of a bailout package. Half of their fleet remains grounded.

Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr has already made it clear that the airline won’t have work for thousands of its employees. “The industry is considered fascinating, but there’s no guarantee for a job. There are too many people and very less jobs in the sector. Students entering the aviation sector should take this into account.”

Lufthansa aviation training’s head Stefan Kenan Scheib said the airline has one thousand more pilots than it needs. “The prospects of becoming a pilot are awful right now. The pandemic has impacted the financial situation of the group, and we are losing € 500 million every month,” said Scheib.

The sector in a bad shape

The global air traffic body IATA says air traffic is expected to be 66 percent lower than last year. Overall, 2020 has been a massive mess for the sector; bookings have been slowly recovering. Lufthansa, Germany’s flagship career, has suggested that several would-be pilots from its prestigious flight academy might have to rethink their plans.

Analysts say the demand for pilots even after the end of the pandemic is unlikely to soar. The sector may pick-up significantly only after 2025. Most student pilots at Lufthansa academy are in a precarious financial situation, and some have left-back for their home countries.

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