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U.S. Airline Pilot Shortage Crimping Summer Route Ramp-Up Plans

April 23, 2022, 12:30 PM

U.S. airlines are facing a pilot shortage that’s complicating efforts to ramp up flights, forcing them to step up training programs, recruit foreign pilots and even replace planes with buses.

The industry needs to hire an average of 14,500 new pilots each year until 2030, according to federal labor statistics. But carriers say there’s no way they can bring on that many due to long lag times for credentialing. Worse, experts say the staffing bottleneck is unlikely to end anytime soon.

“The pilot shortage for the industry is real and most airlines are simply not going to be ...