Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines is looking to solve ongoing pilot shortages crippling the travel industry by offering interest-free loans to pilots needing more flight hours to obtain their licenses.
The regional airline’s chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney about the initiative on “Varney & Co.” Monday, saying the shortage must be resolved soon.
“I think we’re in a position where we have to do something to alleviate this very severe pilot shortage that’s affecting the entire industry and, ultimately, really affecting the consumer,” he said.
REGIONAL AIRLINE HAS SOLUTION FOR PILOT SHORTAGE
Ornstein described the shortage as the worst he has seen in his forty-year history of working in aviation.
He added that pilots currently need 1,500 hours to become certified to fly for a major airline.
“That’s up from the original 250 where a pilot would receive its commercial license,” he said.
TEXAS STUDENTS GO FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO FLIGHT SCHOOL, TAKING OFF WITH PILOT CAREERS AMID INDUSTRY SHORTAGE
Ornstein said the pilot shortage issue has been building since the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 took effect in 2013.
“This regulation doesn’t exist in any other country in the world, and we’re the only place where there’s a shortage,” he said.
He told Varney that the pilots participating in the program already have their commercial license and are working to be certified to fly larger aircraft.
“We’re watching the regional aviation sort of evaporate as a result of the loss of pilots… it’s going to be a big impact,” he stressed.
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