Emirates seeks to recruit U.S.-based pilots due to shortage

Emirates Airlines, one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, is responding to the ongoing shortage of qualified pilots with a new strategy – last week, releasing a tour schedule through the United States, calling it the “Emirates Pilot Roadshow” in hopes of recruiting pilots in person to be based out of the airline’s hub in Dubai.

Emirates will be visiting major U.S. cities, including Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Seattle to host information sessions and network with qualified pilots.

With demand for airfreight capacity still soaring after the fruitful, e-commerce-driven 2017,  this year the continuing need for air transportation has made the pilot shortage more acute for airlines that intend to capitalize on that demand and increase flight frequencies.

This news rings a similar bell to that of FedEx’s Purple Runway program announced in April – the expeditor’s own initiative to address the shortage by bringing on underqualified aviation students in need for flight hours. Emirates’ program makes no such promise, instead making a simple attempt to appeal to pilots already qualified with a list of benefits, including paid housing and “pick up and drop off” to and from the airport.

While the industry at large agrees that there is a shortage of qualified airline pilots, employable pilots are around but are able to be pickier about which airline they choose to work for. In a report from Air Transport Services Group Inc (ATSG), the company says Air Transport International (ATI), a U.S.-based combination carrier, has actually been able to grow its pilot count – attracting pilots by enabling them to quickly progress from First Officer to Captain, “which is the biggest jump in pay and benefits a pilot will see,” the report said.

The Emirates Pilot Roadshow schedule is as follows:


o   First session: Monday, June 18th – 10:00 AM

o   Second session: Monday, June 18th – 4:00 PM

o   Location: Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar Street  I  Houston,  TX 77010

Fort Lauderdale

o   First  session: Wednesday, June 20th – 10:00 AM

o   Second  session: Wednesday, June 20th – 4:00 PM

o   Location: The Diplomat Beach Resort, South Ocean Drive Hollywood, FL 33019


o   First  session: Thursday, June 21st – 4:00 PM

o   Second session: Friday, June 22nd – 10:00 AM

Location: The Westin Boston Waterfront 425 Summer Street, Boston, MA, 02210


o   Details to be announced

To learn more about Emirates’ program, visit their website.

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