Airlines boost salaries to solve critical pilot shortage

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Airlines are raising salaries and expanding benefits in order to combat the industry’s severe pilot shortage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing Co. estimates that airlines will need to hire 635,000 pilots globally over the next two decades.

Airline analyst Mike Boyd said the pay scale for pilots has to increase significantly to attract qualified candidates.

“If we are going to get more pilots, the pay scale has to go up in the early years so we get more people into it,” Boyd said during an interview on “Making Money with Charles Payne” on Wednesday.

Airline companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in training facilities and education costs for prospective pilots, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Air Line Pilots Association International President Capt. Tim Canoll said airlines that are finding it difficult to attract pilots are employers who do not provide good wages, a good work-life balance and a career projection path.

“We going to have to make sure that we are attracting those with an aptitude and those with a desire,” Canoll said.

Boyd said the challenge for airlines is paying pilots a higher wage at entry-level positions.

“You gotta get things to get people out of college and want to fly airplanes,” he said.