Airlines turn noses up at Thai pilots

Airlines turn noses up at Thai pilots

Domestic oversupply flies in face of high global demand within the aviation sector

A Thai Airways International pilot controls a Boeing 787 Dreamline jet on Sept 19, 2017. (Post Today photo)
A Thai Airways International pilot controls a Boeing 787 Dreamline jet on Sept 19, 2017. (Post Today photo)

Thai pilots are failing to find work after graduation despite high global demand in the aviation industry, the Civil Aviation Training Centre president said on Monday.

International airline operators are competing to offer jobs to pilots, but “our pilots find no jobs”, according to Piya Atmungkun.

Between 600 and 700 newly graduated pilots are struggling to secure seats in cockpits, he said.

Aviation programmes and pilot training schools have mushroomed, but many fail to meet international standards, according to RAdm Piya.

New pilots are being churned out continually without information of how many of them are actually employable by airline companies. This has led to the oversupply of pilots who aren't up to scratch, he said.

“The picture of the Thai aviation industry is being distorted by the claim that we lack pilots,” RAdm Piya said.

"It's true there is a scarcity of pilots, but that demand is for experienced, not new, pilots, RAdm Piya said.

He believes a plan to establish a “city of aviation” in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) will only increase the supply of domestic aviation personnel.

“Even before the EEC officially opens, there is already a high number of aviation graduates,” RAdm Piya said.

“But companies will not employ them if their qualifications are not certified according to international standards.”

One solution, according to RAdm Piya, is the suggestion by the UN-based International Civil Aviation Organisation that Thailand should set up an aviation centre of excellence in the EEC which would also enrol students from CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries, African nations and those under the former Soviet republic.

If given the green light, the new centre would offer high-quality training at a more affordable price than Singapore, he said.

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