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Aviation recruiter predicts 2015 corporate jet pilot shortage

Shutterstock pilot and copilot in cockpit of private jet shutterstock_197786342 - CopyZenon Aviation Recruitment has reported an increasing shortage of pilots experienced by its clients within the MENA region.

Zenon explains that it has experienced an unprecedented 22% increase from 2013 to 2014 in the demand for its services in recruiting and supplying qualified type-rated crews. These requirements have been for both long and short range corporate jet aircraft as a result of the expansion of existing operators and new start-up organisations throughout the Gulf region.

According to Zenon, this shortage of skilled crews within the region has created operational issues for some of its clients, affecting the level of service they aim to supply. Consequently, the operators have to attract pilots from outside the region by offering improved benefits. Zenon’s recruitment campaigns have shown that when recruiting expatriate pilots for the Middle East, the pilot’s quality of life now weighs higher in their decision-making than the salary offered. For example, pilots who are working two months on and one month off are now being offered a more competitive rotation, such as one month on, one month off.

Zenon has experienced a 15% increase in salaries for corporate jet Captains and First Officers in 2014 and predicts a further increase as the demand for pilots will continue to exceed their availability in 2015. In answer to the shortage of available skilled crews, some operators have already requested the commencement of their recruitment campaigns now in order to attract expatriate crews required for the end of the first quarter and middle of next year.