TAIPEI (TVBS News) — With international travel accelerating, airlines are rapidly ordering new aircraft and expanding their pilot workforce to meet the burgeoning demand for air travel.
Airbus has experienced a significant influx of orders in the first half of 2023, with an unprecedented backlog of nearly 8,000 aircraft. This surge is attributed to airlines' urgent need to update their fleets for safety, as planes are increasingly operated around the clock.
EVA Air's Major Purchase, Challenges in Pilot Training
EVA Air, one of Taiwan's leading airlines, recently announced a significant acquisition of 33 Airbus aircraft valued at over NT＄300 billion. This investment necessitates the recruitment of approximately 660 pilots, highlighting the pressing need for more trained aviation professionals in the industry.
Yu Hao-wei, a former Air Force Academy flight instructor, emphasized the stringent regulations governing pilot hours. "Basic crew members, such as a captain and a co-pilot, are not allowed to be on duty for more than 8 hours," Yu said.
He noted that pilots who have flown for 7 hours and 50 minutes must rest for at least 10 hours before flying again, underlining the strict adherence to safety regulations in the aviation industry.
The pandemic has also exacerbated the pilot shortage, with many experienced pilots retiring and new pilots still in training, which can take up to a year. Yu further commented on the complexities of pilot training, explaining that pilots cannot easily switch between different aircraft types.
Innovative Training Solutions, Preparing for a Competitive Future
In response to the growing demand for skilled pilots, a university in Taiwan has developed an advanced air traffic control training system. This system is designed to simulate various emergency scenarios, providing aviation students with practical skills necessary for the industry. Such initiatives are essential in preparing a new generation of aviation professionals for the challenges they will face.
As the aviation industry navigates these dynamic changes, experts are advising airlines to prepare for an increasingly competitive market. The demand for highly skilled aviation workers is set to rise, with airlines and training institutions alike needing to adapt to this new landscape.