US airlines face long term challenges in pilot staffing as demand significantly outstrips supply

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A pilot shortage that was occurring in the US before the COVID-19 pandemic has been exacerbated by the crisis and could be a major constraint for the aviation industry for the foreseeable future, as demand will continue to significantly outstrip supply. 

Most airlines believe it is not a challenge that can be solved with any sort of temporary fix, and the negative effects will be more acute for some operators than others. And at the moment, even airlines that have steady pilot pipelines are encountering challenges in training, resulting in operational disruptions and a pull-back of capacity. 

As an example, Alaska Air Group was recently forced to cull 2% of its schedule through the end of Jun-2022 due to a backlog in pilot training.

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