We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 1 Aug 2006 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Who's going to fly?

Although Middle East airlines are rapidly expanding their fleets, with a record number of orders to date this year, news last month from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), worryingly shows that there might not be enough pilots to fly them.

|~||~||~|Airlines in the region are constantly battling large obstacles, including the rise in fuel prices. Now they face the biggest challenge yet — a major shortage of skilled staff.

Airlines are predicted to need an additional 150,000 additional employees to fly the planes on order within the Asia Pacific and Middle East. Many airlines have recruitment schemes in place and will not be greatly affected, but the industry is gearing up for the possibility that standards, especially safety, may slip to accommodate the extra employees.

Will some carriers, especially in markets where star pilots have been lured away by the whiff of more money, be forced to introduce fast-track training programs in order to have as many planes up in the air as possible?

Peter Harbison, executive chairman of CAPA, believes this may be the case.

He said: “Over the past decade, the industry has become amazingly safe, the number of deaths and crashes have both dropped. But the margins of error in which airlines operate might be reduced due to the staff shortfall.”

Airlines may be tempted to poach staff from countries that pay less, like China and India. The industry is well aware of the potential chaos the staff shortages could create.
In the next six months there will, almost certainly, be schemes in place to combat the skills shortage.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.

Read next