Air travel-restart with pilot shortage?

Just Nils Wulkop has to get its new service plan. "There's a 'X1 stands for every day' in it," he says, "that is to say, I will not ever fly." The 51-yea

Air travel-restart with pilot shortage?

Just Nils Wulkop has to get its new service plan. "There's a 'X1 stands for every day' in it," he says, "that is to say, I will not ever fly." The 51-year-old Hamburg-based Lufthansa-Pilot, sitting for 25 years in the Cockpit, the last ten of those years on the left seat in an Airbus A320. Of this widely-used medium-haul aircraft, Lufthansa flew alone before the crisis, about 160 Jets. How many will be after the crisis of which is uncertain, some are more recently in the longer term, on the Spanish Parking space Teruel.

Nils Wulkop has since March Once more on the Joystick been replaced with the A320 the control column. "I never thought that it will take the Grounding for so long," says the captain. He misses his Job: "I loved being on the road, which was also a recreation for me." For three months he came all the way from North Germany. "All my colleagues are happy when you see on the service plan, that you are allowed to fly," says Wulkop, but also knows: "Lufthansa has made it very difficult to plan anything reliable."

Too often, the advertised flights can take place, for example because the destination country has not opened the borders again, as previously expected. In June, only a few aircraft of around 280 Jets on the road, the Passage, the airlines were operated by the Airline in its own right so far, normally. The entire group with the subsidiary company had about 760 planes, around 200 of them to permanently remain on the ground. Every seventh Pilot was to be in danger when the necessary reduction of staff, had Lufthansa management Board member Michael Niggemann letting on.

Several Hundred pilots of unemployment does not threaten

the pilot Union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) is expected, however, that in the case of Lufthansa pilots will be dismissed. "It's like there are eliminated, we believe, however, that the staff is definitely used through, for example, in the future, the necessary retraining. I assume that Lufthansa's heads will disappear," stressed VC speaker Janis Schmitt. Him, personally, it hit harder - he previously worked at the former Air Berlin, a daughter of Walter airline (LGW), which flew least, Eurowings and recently had to file for bankruptcy.

Because outside of the now nearly-billion-Euro state support stabilized crane-line it looks far worse: "We estimate that in Germany there are up to 22,000 transport and commercial pilots, which are at the Moment about 1200 directly threatened with unemployment," fears Schmitt. And calculates: Alone at LGW, there were 160 pilots, with the Thomas Cook offshoot TCN hundred, in the now, in the insolvency of the Sun Express 300 to 400 go at TUIfly 300. "Behind the Euro wings a big question mark still stands, the are also a couple of hundred people, and Condor is also in a difficult business environment," he Schmitt anxious forebodings.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA), the European pilot Association, warns: "thousands of other pilots will join you soon among the unemployed in Europe." However, both Nils Wulkop, as well as his former LGW-colleague remain confident: "I am an Optimist, after all, Lufthansa was Europe-wide number one before," says Wulkop. "I still have 14 years before me," - transport pilots need to go with 65 in retirement - "me, the not is practically in the middle of my career, rather." Finally, the approximately eight-year-old transport pilot training is so expensive that neither employees nor employers make lightly redundancies or a change of occupation.

flight simulators currently

is closed "are at risk at the Moment, first of all, but in the case of the major Airlines, there are a bulwark to contracts and hedging mechanisms," estimates of the VC-man Schmitt the situation. "Basically, I'm going to assume that in two or three years old, the passenger level is reached again, and then you need the people. The question is, of course, what do you do in the meantime with the staff," said the Pilot.

The question for many is currently on the floor of the exiled captains, even now - and the question could come for the entire industry, still of crucial importance. Because the fact is: "unlike other Professions, pilots continuing need at the end of flight experience, in order to keep their licenses and to be for the use of, or the labour market available. This is a legally mandatory," says the ECA.

at least every 90 days, pilots must demonstrate three take-offs and landings. In Corona-times is almost impossible, not even in the Simulator, what would be sufficient, but which are largely closed. The license of Janis Schmitt can't fly at the Moment due to his job loss and more, is still valid until March 2021. "After that, I would have to extend the private. Either the Federal Agency or a new employer, but otherwise I have to pay the self help me", is afraid of Schmitt. "The can with arrival and departure loose 2000 Euro costs until you have extended the glow." A lot of money for an unemployed pilot.

model planes as a replacement for

During the forced time on the ground, most pilots make nothing Flight, except for changes previously remaining documents will be available to work through. "I got myself as a new Hobby to steer remote-controlled glider models with my sons," laughs Nils Wulkop, but he is clear: "I'm not likely to fly straight, since I have to learn a lot again." It is clear that the types of permission to fly a particular aircraft type, the so-called Type Rating is expired for most of the transport pilots in the meantime.

In the case of a large-scale reboot of the line flights, all pilots must complete first three to four days of Training in the Simulator. "It becomes a big bottle neck, if all pilots have to renew their licenses and re-qualify, which can take several months or even a year," warns the Pilot of that. Many Airlines and traveler further restrictions threaten to if it could actually go again. Nils Wulkop just want to finally get back into the Cockpit. To get "quite a lot of money for doing nothing feels weird."

author: Andreas Spaeth

*The post "aviation-restart with the pilot shortage?" will be released by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 01 July 2020, 06:26

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