During 2006, U.S. airlines hired 1,556 more pilots than they had forecast at the beginning of the year, according to Aviation Information Resources, Inc. Airlines had expected to hire up to 6,700 pilots, but they actually ended up hired 8,256 during the year, according to 2007 Airline Pilot Hiring Forecast.
According to Kit Darby, president of AIR,Inc. "the largest hiring increase came from the national airlines, which forecast hiring 2,100 of the 6,700 pilots. For the ninth straight year the national carriers dominated the industry, adding 3,233 new pilot jobs to their sector — an increase of 1,133 from what they had originally forecast hiring."
The major carriers came in second, hiring 2,276 new pilots. Leading the way in this category was Southwest Airlines, hiring 604 new pilots, followed by Continental with 435, JetBlue with 381, FedEx with 345, and AirTran, which hired 226 new pilots in 2006.
It is estimated that in the U.S. 8,510 new airlilne pilots will be hired this year, 2007. It could be even more, depending on pilot retirement, airline growth and foreign demand for U.S. pilots.
If you’ve always wanted to be a pilot, don’t delay. Demand for airline pilots continues to increase and with proper training you could be an airline pilot in less than 2 years. Now is the time to train. You could be flying as soon as next month!