Lufthansa Group announced today that it is modernising and restructuring its pilot training through its corporate programme ‘ReNew’. The programme consists of a modern framework, designed to maintain the highest, globally recognised standards in the new digital age whilst aiding pilot recruitment.
Pilots Impacted by the Pandemic
The global pandemic has had a huge impact on the aviation industry and its employees, particularly pilots. According to a recent survey by GOOSE Recruitment and industry publication FlightGlobal, more than half of the world’s airline pilots are no longer flying.
The survey of nearly 2,600 pilots highlighted the impact of the pandemic. It confirmed that 43% continue to work as pilots, 30% are unemployed, a further 17% are furloughed and 10% are in non-flying roles. Pilots that are still flying feel less valued by their employees due to deteriorating work conditions, lower salaries, and in some cases pay cuts of up to 58%.
Prior to Covid-19, there had been widespread pilot shortages and demand for worldwide aviation was booming. Pilots were sought after and this resulted in improved pay and conditions. Unfortunately, conditions for pilots have deteriorated. 40% of working pilots reported that the pandemic has had a significant impact on their mental health. A mixture of stress, anxiety, ever-changing rules and risks associated with Covid-19 have taken their toll on pilots.
From Disruption to Development
During the pandemic, the global aviation and travel industries have had to adapt, rebuild, redesign and innovate, faced with the challenges of huge financial losses, job losses and customer losses. Lufthansa, despite facing its own job cuts, is using the interruption caused by the pandemic for development.
Lufthansa is modernising its existing pilot training concept at its in-house flight schools. The existing successful principle of ab-initio training will remain in place but has a modern focus. Future pilot training will be based on a “campus model” framework, providing modern, digital forms of training along with new selection procedures.
Modern Pilot Training
Lufthansa’s ReNew’ programme will offer more needs-based training for various airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It will also take into account the volatile demand in air traffic. Similar to a university study programme, the campus training will result in a defined qualification, an internationally recognised degree.
The new pilot training concept provides theoretical and practical training. Future theoretical training focused on digital modules will take place in Bremen, Germany. The practical training will be completed at Rostock-Laage, a modern and recognised training facility at “RLG” Airport, Germany.
Prospects for Pilots
Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) offers opportunities for student pilots to join cockpits at Lufthansa Group Airlines. After completing training, graduates will be recruited depending on the demand of flight operations amongst various airlines in the Lufthansa Group.
Dr. Detlef Kayser, COO of Lufthansa Group, said:
“During the greatest crisis in global aviation, we have to put everything at the Lufthansa Group to the test, including our long-standing training concept for our pilots. Over the past decades, this has enabled us to set the highest and globally recognized quality standards in the selection and training for our cockpit crews. While maintaining these quality standards, we now want to modernize this proven concept, make it more efficient and reliable, and enter a new age with digital modules. Simultaneously, we are offering our current flight students a helping hand as the new criteria will give them the chance to find a job as a pilot for our airlines at a later date. The development of the new campus model is a prime example of how we are modernizing Lufthansa via our corporate program ‘ReNew’, by streamlining and improving structures to make them more efficient.”
For pilots, the turbulence continues. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned of catastrophic airline job losses for 2021. New analysis has shown that the airline industry cannot cut costs sufficiently to avoid bankruptcies and preserve jobs. It’s encouraging that airlines such as Lufthansa are focused on job creation and upskilling their pilots for the future.
What are your thoughts on Lufthansa’s pilot training programme? Let us know in the comments below.