Canada needs more pilots

Somebody needs to make Top Gun, but for regular airline pilots, because the profession is facing a shortage and could really use a shiny new recruitment tool.  

What happened: The number of new commercial pilot licenses issued in Canada has taken a nosedive, falling by over 80% since 2019. The pandemic may have sparked a sharp drop, but there are other reasons why being a pilot is becoming a less attractive career choice. 

  • Getting a license is really expensive (~$100,000 in 2023), plus the industry is seen as a turbulent place right now (as we’ve covered), creating fears about job security.

Why it matters: Canada is dealing with a commercial pilot shortage. Sunwing’s holiday travel breakdown, was, in part, attributed to not having enough pilots. With fewer new pilots to step up to the plate, the shortage could hurt the still-recovering tourism industry.

  • Even before the pandemic, aviation was in need of new blood, contending with an aging workforce while new budget airlines added pressure on the labour supply. 

Zoom out: It’s not just Canada, either. The global aviation industry is in a tailspin right now, with a report for Oliver Wyman projecting a worldwide pilot shortage of 82,000 by 2032.