A shortage of pilots at Philippine Airlines (PAL) has caused the flag carrier to delay taking delivery of two Airbus A319s, pushing back the implementation of its narrowbody fleet renewal programme.

Delivery of one A319 from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) has been delayed into next year, says PAL, which adds it still plans to introduce three A319s this year, all on lease from GECAS.

A pilot shortage is the reason for the delay, says PAL, adding that about 75 pilots have left over the past three years and it now has around 440 pilots. “For a small airline…losing 75 pilots is quite a lot. We are reaching a critical level. So far we have not had to ground aircraft, but if the trend continues then we might have to,” it says. PAL is suffering from a pilot shortage because airlines from India, South Korea and the Middle East have been poaching its employees.


Source: Flight International