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How to Stem Labor Shortages in the Aviation Industry

Categories: Aviation, Facilities Maintenance, Library


Big Picture

Two years after the start of the pandemic and the distribution of billions in government aid, the aviation industry is struggling to meet soaring demand. A staffing shortage is at the root of the problem.


At the start of the pandemic, many companies encouraged employees to take buyouts or early retirements, anticipating that air travel would make a slow recovery. Fast forward several months, and borders began to re-open, unleashing pent-up demand.

“With the lifting of many border restrictions, we are seeing the long-expected surge in bookings as people seek to make up for two years of lost travel opportunities,” said Willie Walsh, Director General of the International Air Transport Association.

This strong recovery has benefited aviation workers, as they’ve been able to put pressure on companies to increase compensation and improve working conditions. But bottlenecks in training and re-certification have kept some employees from returning to work. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce at a rate of 5,900 workers a day (and making plans to travel, putting additional strain on the industry). Consequently, demand is going unmet, work is going unperformed, and the economy is slowing at an alarmingly fast rate.

The Problem

The staffing crisis is so bad that many airlines are canceling flights and limiting passenger numbers during peak travel season, resulting in a poor customer experience. If these shortages persist, the industry’s reputation will continue to suffer.

The Solution

Companies can address their labor shortfalls by partnering with qualified facility management providers. By streamlining and managing the recruiting process, these providers help speed up the time it takes to hire and train skilled employees, like those needed to clean gates, handle bags, and serve passengers.

Facility management providers also drive improvements using advanced technology and reporting. Many teams are trained to monitor and control the metrics that impact aviation facilities, including energy use, compliance, and cleanliness. The result is a leaner and more efficient airport and better overall passenger experience.

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About Flagship Aviation Services

For 25 years, Flagship has provided first-class facility management to the nation’s top airlines and airports. We now offer an expanded list of aviation services, including cleaning, maintenance, and passenger assistance. Our solutions are proven to drive cost efficiencies, increase accountability, and support a higher standard of quality.

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