Many airline pilots feel stressed and undervalued by management and, despite record demand for flight crew globally, worried about job security and automation making their role redundant.
Those are among the findings of a landmark survey by pilot and aviation recruiter GOOSE Recruitment and aviation publisher FlightGlobal, which polled more than 1,300 working pilots worldwide on attitudes to their work.
Despite a perception that a cockpit career is glamorous, well-rewarded and a job for life, the survey reveals that pilots often feel anxious and insecure. Findings include:
- 40 percent of pilots feel “most stressed” by their dealings with management, with rotations – the number of airport turnarounds they must carry out in a day – the second biggest contributor to stress
- 59 percent feel their employer does not care about their wellbeing
- More than half of pilots have worried about losing their job in the past two years
- 29 percent of pilots do not plan to fly to retirement age
- 43 percent would not recommend a career as a pilot to young people
- 40 percent of pilots are concerned that autonomous technology will make the role of the pilot redundant
Among other findings, pilots rate work-life balance as the highest priority when choosing a flying job, ahead of salary, company culture, training and career development. Interestingly, the list is almost reversed for pilots at the start of their career, who give company culture the highest rating, with work-life balance the least important.
The survey also reveals that Lufthansa, Air France and Virgin Atlantic are the three airlines pilots would most want to work for.
“These results show that, despite the appeal of a career as an airline pilot and demand for their services being higher than ever, airlines have significant challenges to address when it comes to the job satisfaction and wellbeing of their most important employees,” says Mark Charman, CEO and founder of GOOSE Recruitment.