Many are considering a career change after someone spread a rumor about airplane pilots making $247 an hour due to a labor shortage.
Alliscia Watts, known as @sayproduceralli on Twitter, went viral after claiming airlines were paying pilots handsomely due to a labor shortage.
apparently there’s a pilot shortage going on so now, apparently, they’re paying new hires $247 a hour 😂😭
— allinova🌐 (@sayproduceralli) July 8, 2021
“Apparently, there’s a pilot shortage going on so now. Apparently, they’re paying new hires $247 a hour,” she tweeted.
It is unclear where she got that figure from, but jokes about switching careers started flying—pun unintended.
If I was making $247 an hour as a pilot I’m turning a 3 hour flight into a 18 hour flight
— Dre (@sonsvision) July 12, 2021
Girl they making 247 an hour I hope you got his number or something 🥴 https://t.co/cKuCQHrA6z
— Honey Fairview (@Typwryter) July 15, 2021
“If I was making $247 an hour as a pilot, I’m turning a 3-hour flight into a 18-hour flight,” joked one person.
“$247 an hour I’ll be whippin’ that plane through the air like it’s a Chevy Tahoe,” tweeted another user.
$247 an hour I’ll be whippin that plane through the air like it’s a Chevy Tahoe.
— Dean. (@OmarDeanII) July 11, 2021
— K-Ci’s (ooh yeah) (@frodeci) July 10, 2021
Even though the $247 per hour pay rate hasn’t been confirmed, the pilot shortage is real. At the height of the pandemic, airlines let pilots go or pushed them towards early retirement, per CNBC. However, due to vaccinations and looser COVID-19 restrictions, the current rate of travel is at the same rate as Summer 2019. The fallout has led to canceled flights and delays.
“What is unique about this experience is the drop-off in business [early in the pandemic] was an existential threat to the business,” Bryan Terry, managing director and global aviation leader at Deloitte told CNBC “Then what came, the unexpected part, the return to travel came faster than expected.”
Additionally, companies retired older aircrafts because didn’t expect such a quick recovery. Consequently, there is also an airplane shortage. Southwest Airlines, for example, might not have enough planes to make it through the next two years.
“We don’t feel like we have enough airplanes for 2022 and 2023, and that’s just doing what you know us to be famous for,” outgoing Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.
If you’re considering flight school, it’s time to make the leap and get that bag.