This statistic illustrates the number of active pilots at American Airlines from 2013 to 2021. In 2021, there were 12,700 active pilots working for American Airlines, down from 15,550 in the previous year.
Pilot demand in the U.S.
Even though the aviation industry has been burgeoning throughout the 21st century, the number of pilots does not follow the same trend. The number of pilots in the U.S. experienced two cyclical developments with a recent increasing trend between 1990 and 2019. Contrary to general intuition, the pinnacle of pilots in service in the U.S. was in 1990, with over 700,000 pilots serving the U.S. aviation industry. During 2019, there were over 666,000 pilots active in the U.S. aviation industry. In the upcoming two decades, it is estimated that the demand for pilots will increase by 208,000 in the North American region. To meet the increasing demand for pilots, many people should be interested in becoming a pilot. Yet, to ascertain a continuous flow of pilots in the job market, becoming a pilot as a job must be an attractive offer to people.
Survey results of job satisfaction amongst pilots
A 2020 survey revealed that most of the aviation groups are concerned about the continuity of qualified pilots in the job market. For instance, roughly 78 percent of senior management of low-cost carriers (LCCs) reported that they find the difficulty to ensure a stable supply of qualified pilots moderately to very challenging over the next 10 years. On the supply side, there is a multitude of issues that may trigger the low willingness of people to get an education and become a pilot. Some of the main concerns of pilots could be represented by the wellbeing of pilots at work. The nature of pilot activities imposes a high-stress and responsibility on the shoulders of each pilot. Besides, there are many business-specific stress factors from the airline groups on pilots that adversely affect the overall satisfaction of pilots. According to a survey carried out in 2019, most of the pilots stated that they do not feel that their current employers care about pilots’ wellbeing. This high-level of disposition to implicitly avoid satisfying the needs of pilots may put the continuous growth of the aviation industry at a somewhat risk.
American Airlines' number of pilots from 2013 to 2021*
* Values include the number of pilots from the merger of US Airways, as well as pilots' number from wholly-owned regional carriers Envoy Air, PSA Airlines and Piedmont Airlines.
Values prior to 2021 were taken from previous editions.
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American Airlines. (February 28, 2022). American Airlines' number of pilots from 2013 to 2021* [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved July 03, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/741820/american-airlines-active-pilots/
American Airlines. "American Airlines' number of pilots from 2013 to 2021*." Chart. February 28, 2022. Statista. Accessed July 03, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/741820/american-airlines-active-pilots/
American Airlines. (2022). American Airlines' number of pilots from 2013 to 2021*. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 03, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/741820/american-airlines-active-pilots/
American Airlines. "American Airlines' Number of Pilots from 2013 to 2021*." Statista, Statista Inc., 28 Feb 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/741820/american-airlines-active-pilots/
American Airlines, American Airlines' number of pilots from 2013 to 2021* Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/741820/american-airlines-active-pilots/ (last visited July 03, 2022)