Air Transport World

From the beginning. (new pilot training programs continue despite glut of qualified pilots)

In the 1980s, numerous ab initio programs were hatched to combat the predicted pilot shortage in the U.S. But now, there's a pilot glut here and the real beneficiaries of these programs are Asian and European carriers.

A number of reasons exist for this turn of events, not the least of which are the deaths of Eastern, Pan Am and Midway, which spilled a number of highly qualified pilots into the marketplace. The U.S. military's reduction in force and the U.S. airlines' curtailment of aircraft orders have contributed. Then, there's the number of regional pilots anxious to move up to wide-body aircraft in the U.S. In a way, ironically, the ab initio graduates have contributed to the oversupply of pilots here. …

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