US Airlines Left Scrambling Amid Pilot Shortage

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. airlines are struggling to find pilots.

The pandemic slowed down training of new pilots, and an aging pilot workforce opted for early retirements amid the reduced travel. Now there is talk of raising the federally mandated retirement age for pilots from 65 to 67 or reducing the limitations on pilots’ permitted flight hours, NBC News reported Sunday.

“The pilot shortage for the industry is real, and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in April, estimating about 150 planes might be grounded amid the shortage.

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