Aviation industry labor shortage hits Canadian companies trying to replace grounded Boeing jets
SEE ALSO :Airlines lobby now warns over high taxesThe charter company has had to refuse some of the surging number of client requests in the wake of the MAX grounding because of the pilot shortage. Globally, many large lessors and aftermarket service providers who do plane maintenance have generally seen muted impact from the grounding because they are already fully booked, analysts and executives say. The aviation industry has long been wrestling with a shortage of pilots and mechanics. A 2017 report by training company CAE forecasts the need for an extra 255,000 pilots by 2027 to sustain passenger traffic which is expected to double in the next 20 years. Stephen Lim, president of ST Engineering Aerospace America, said by email that any longer-term upward pressure on MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) pricing could “come from increasing labor costs, primarily due to an industry-wide shortage of experienced mechanics.” In Canada, labor concerns have emerged in the province of Quebec, home to most of Canada’s aviation industry.
SEE ALSO :Aviation guru on KRA radarWhen the provincial government announced plans to scale back accepted immigrants by 20% this year, as part of a broader system overhaul, employers’ groups warned it could make it harder to fill vacancies in multiple sectors. TIGHT LABOR MARKET According to an August report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Quebec had a job vacancy rate of 3.2%, one of the highest in the country alongside British Columbia. Canada’s overall unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% in July after slipping to 5.4% in May — its lowest recorded rate since comparable data became available in 1976. Earl Diamond, chief executive of Avianor, which specializes in aircraft maintenance and cabin integration, said meeting rising demand from clients hinges on staffing and space, which are at a premium in the company’s bustling Montreal-area facility. A recent spate of airline bankruptcies from India to Iceland, combined with the MAX grounding, have thrust privately held Avianor into the center of the scramble for replacement planes.
SEE ALSO :Jambojet gets nod to fly to Kigali“It’s one of the biggest problems we have in the industry.”
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