After A Bleak Winter, Summer Provides Opportunities For Pilots And Airlines

During the winter, bankruptcies and staff lay-offs have shaken up the aviation industry, especially in Europe. Rising fuel costs, the growth of passenger numbers slowing and thin profit margins were many of the factors that put a strain on the bank balances of airlines in Europe, especially on the small and medium-sized carriers.

Brexit also provided an issue – the uncertainty has shifted the choices of travelers, especially in Britain – holidays are spent in destinations that do not require getting in on an aircraft.

While stranded passengers get offered discounts on flights in order to reach their destination, employees of a bankrupt airline do get stranded. However, after a storm, there‘s always a ray of bright sunshine. As one chapter of a pilot‘s career closes, a new one opens.

Nevertheless, compared to last year, the tendencies of pilot recruitment have changed. Both for the pilots, who are looking for a job and for the airlines, determined to fill their cockpits with new people.

Small players opened up an opportunity to the big boys

There is no denying that the recent collapse of several airlines in Europe, namely Germania or FlyBMI doesn‘t carry the same impact as a hypothetical bankruptcy of Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) or British Airways.

But when airlines such as Germania or FlyBMI do declare bankruptcy, it provides an opportunity for the big carriers in the continent.

The most common issue within the aviation industry is the fact that airlines are struggling to fill the seat of a captain or a first officer on a flight. As passenger numbers increase, airlines have to keep up with the demand to sustain their business.

So, when smaller airlines do go bust, the open pilot pool fills with new talent. For example, Ryanair used the FlyBMI bankruptcy as an opportunity to offer pilots a new career opportunity with a video from Peter Bellew’s, the Chief Operations Officer of the company, Twitter account.


Pilot Career Show events that are organized on a short-notice also provide opportunities for pilots and airlines to recruit new people. For instance, when WOW Air declared bankruptcy, more than 1000 people lost their jobs, including pilots. But a rapid set-up roadshow event with multiple airline representatives in Reykjavik soothed the situation out.

An airline bankruptcy doesn’t signal the end of a pilot’s career.

However, you never should sleep on the fact that you’re not the only one aiming for the glorious pilot spot at the prestigious airlines. As more airlines go bust, more talent is available to the big carriers. As a result, they might get picky and aim for the perfect candidates.