For already several years the industry has been fiercely discussing the issue of the upcoming shortage of pilots and MRO specialists, which is fated to hamper the development of airlines, airports and other aviation-related segments of the travel industry. With the IATA to forecast more than a triple increase in passenger traffic – up to 16 billion passengers by 2050 – airlines will inevitably develop a keen desire to carry every single of those passengers. However, acquiring additional aircraft – one of the 34 000 forecasted by Boeing – is just the first (and maybe the easiest) step. Securing the necessary skilful human resources – this is the point where the entire industry should act unanimously – from airlines, MROs and HR-resourcing companies to manufacturers and governments.

‘The lack of pilots and MRO specialists is not the issue relevant to airlines and MRO providers only. Even as we speak some airlines are placing their aircraft orders on hold due to the increasing possibility that there will be no one to operate the new aircraft. At the same time, the MRO industry is sure to face certain development limitations due to the very same situation with aircraft technicians and engineers. Moreover, the current situation implicates an increasing financial burden on the companies, since the shortage is triggering higher salary demands from aviation professionals,’ commented the CEO of Skaiste Knyzaite.

For some time airlines and MROs had been forced to seek for ways to satisfy their HR-demand on their own, using own in-house training departments. However, recently other aviation industry players have started to realize the actual gravity of pilots’ and MRO specialists’ shortage. For instance, in the end of June 2012 Boeing together with the Indonesian authorities announced of its plans to establish a major training facility in the country in order to help the region meet its growing demand for skilled aviation professionals. Prior to this, the U.S. aircraft manufacturer had also conducted a promo campaign aimed at promoting aviation-related professions, including those of aircraft technicians and engineers. At the very same time, a training subsidiary of Airports Authorities of India (AAI) had announced of the agreement to provide training support for aviation specialists from African states.

‘Now we can see that manufacturers, operators, MRO providers, airports and governments – everyone is doing one’s best in order to avoid the forecasted bleak industry prospects. Without any doubt, the HR-resourcing industry is also contributing to the issue. Some recruitment agencies help fresh pilots to obtain their initial experience required to work for commercial airlines. Others help operators to find skilful first officers in order to train and promote them to captains. Of course, HR-resourcing companies are also the first step for many young people embarked on seeking a career in aviation, since we help airlines, MROs and other related companies to organize, promote and conduct job-fares, screenings and other related activities aimed at promoting the prospects of aviation professions,’ commented Skaiste Knyzaite.

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