A majority of pilots are considering leaving the profession amid unhappiness over pay, according to the latest annual survey of pilot attitudes by GOOSE Recruitment and FlightGlobal.

It found that more than half of those asked had not had a salary increase for five years, and for one in three, pay has fallen.

Only 15 per cent of pilots believe their salary is keeping pace with the rising cost of living, and almost 70 per cent say that current levels of pay will persuade fellow aviators to leave the sector.

Alarmingly, the survey found that 63 per cent want to change jobs in the next 12 months, including 65 per cent of captains – the highest figure in the four years of the poll.

Salary and benefits

A better salary and benefits package is given as the main reason for seeking the change, followed by an improved work-life balance.

Just 45 per cent would encourage young people to join the profession.

The survey polled 1,184 pilots across the world during the final quarter of 2022.

Asia-Pacific is the worst affected region when it comes to pay. There 48 per cent of pilots have had their pay reduced. By contrast, in North America, 73 per cent of respondents have seen their pay increase.

Shortage of pilots

Some 89 per cent of respondents believe there will be a shortage of pilots over the next five years, compared with 66 per cent in 2021.

Mark Charman, founder and chief executive of GOOSE Recruitment, said: “I don’t see this goodwill holding out for much longer.

“Pilots will want to see their pay return to what it once was. I predict that 2023 will be a year with more remuneration crisis talks than ever before.”
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter