Pilot shortage grounds more flights at Japan's Air Do
Nikkei -- Nov 17
Japanese regional carrier Air Do becomes the latest airline struck by the global shortage of pilots, saying Thursday it has canceled 26 flights scheduled for February after already grounding 34 trips this month.

The new cancellations cover Feb. 1-7 flights between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and New Chitose Airport near Sapporo, affecting some 600 passengers who held reservations.

The Hokkaido-based airline suffered a wave of retirements in August and October by pilots capable of operating small aircraft. Air Do has increased hiring as well as training of co-pilots for promotion to captain. But the lengthy training time prompted the carrier to cancel the February flights, run with code-share partner All Nippon Airways, part of ANA Holdings.

Air Do plans no further cancellations in its fiscal second half beyond these two sets, a spokesperson said.

Japan's commercial aviation industry fears a serious shortage may hit around 2030, when a generation of pilots in the country is expected to retire en masse.

The global airline industry will need 980,000 pilots in 2030, more than double the 2010 level, the International Civil Aviation Organization estimates. Meeting this number will require the training of at least 50,000 pilots yearly. An annual shortfall of more than 8,000 is anticipated.

News source: Nikkei
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