Retirement Table through 2032

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
About a week ago I posted a hand written table of the retirements, it was a little messy and was brought to my attention that I used Delta numbers twice instead of United's numbers.. (whoops!) Had to fix that so I decided to make an excel spread sheet instead of another hand written table. It covers retirements from 2018-2032 with a ten year total in the middle. As we have seen, the numbers are pretty staggering and really don't stop even in 2032 which was my last year displayed. The peak is the mid 2020's but each airline hits a peak at different times. This time I also included UPS and FedEx into the numbers. I haven't used Excel in a long time so I apologize if it's not reader friendly, the table is attached below as a PDF

This data was pulled from the retirement numbers off of APC, I know these numbers change from time to time and will most likely do a 6 month review and edit as necessary. I would also like to get actual retirement numbers at the end of each year for each carrier to see how accurate these projections are.

Some eye opening stats include :

-by 2028, 28,274 pilots will retire. That doesn’t account for other airlines like Spirit, allegiant, Frontier and JetBlue. It also doesn’t include regional lifers and the corporate world.

-by 2032, 38,459 pilots will retire out of the 60043 pilots on the seniority list today. That is 64%.

-By 2032, 76% of current pilots at AA will retire and 80% of UPS will retire.

-Alaska seems to have the least amount of retirements at 44% by 2032. That doesn’t include the Virgin merger either which is a younger pilot group as well.
 

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amichael

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting. I'm confident that there has never been a better time to be an airline pilot.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
I have a lot of friends that have distinct pleasure of having to choose between Delta and American. A lot of them are choosing American simply because of the meaningful difference in seniority that they will achieve over time. I *may* have this choice soon. Given things like work rules, contract negotiations, scheduling, profit sharing, etc. does this seem like a fundamentally good reason to go with one employer over the other?

Nice product, btw.
 

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
I have a lot of friends that have distinct pleasure of having to choose between Delta and American. A lot of them are choosing American simply because of the meaningful difference in seniority that they will achieve over time. I *may* have this choice soon. Given things like work rules, contract negotiations, scheduling, profit sharing, etc. does this seem like a fundamentally good reason to go with one employer over the other?

Nice product, btw.
I’m certainly not the best guy to answer this being a lowly regional FO and a pretty green pilot in general. But.. I would definitely consider the projected retirements at the companies that I have offers with. More retirements sooner means more seniority sooner which helps with QOL. I think between all thre carriers, Delta and American are going to be very good for anyone 45 and younger who get on in the next 2-3 years. You know, until the next recession and industry downfall and all. :)
 

Hammertime

Well-Known Member
I have a lot of friends that have distinct pleasure of having to choose between Delta and American. A lot of them are choosing American simply because of the meaningful difference in seniority that they will achieve over time. I *may* have this choice soon. Given things like work rules, contract negotiations, scheduling, profit sharing, etc. does this seem like a fundamentally good reason to go with one employer over the other?

Nice product, btw.
Depends on where you live. If you're looking at a long term commitment, I'd look at a carrier that has a hub where you live/want to live. Commuting sucks. I don't care how senior you are. If you are tied to an area that doesn't have a major hub, then yes, this is a great reason to go with one carrier over another.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
I have a lot of friends that have distinct pleasure of having to choose between Delta and American. A lot of them are choosing American simply because of the meaningful difference in seniority that they will achieve over time. I *may* have this choice soon. Given things like work rules, contract negotiations, scheduling, profit sharing, etc. does this seem like a fundamentally good reason to go with one employer over the other?

Nice product, btw.
Seniority, and not a lack of commuting, determines whether you get furloughed in the next recession.
 

Richman

Well-Known Member
Sighhh what to go grad school
for. Guess I'll end up working for a living like everyone else.
Been down that road. Grad school is no panacea.

"Professional" grad school costs big bucks. The back end blows unless you're in the top 10-15%..

"Regular" STEM grad school costs a lot less, but the back end REALLY blows unless you hook up with the right people/program.

Non-STEM grad school is just a waste. You'd be much better off going to welding school.
 

Soku39

Well-Known Member
Been down that road. Grad school is no panacea.

"Professional" grad school costs big bucks. The back end blows unless you're in the top 10-15%..

"Regular" STEM grad school costs a lot less, but the back end REALLY blows unless you hook up with the right people/program.

Non-STEM grad school is just a waste. You'd be much better off going to welding school.
Hear ya, I've got the GI bill though... don't really see welding supporting my lifestyle.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Do you know how much money you can make welding? I would actually think about that as a second career if a flight physical went south. Easily as much or more than you would make at the regional level.
Lol. I’m picturing someone who has worked as an airline pilot most of their adult life and the rude awakening they’d get working a welding job (if they managed to get through school and apprenticeship, it’s not rocket surgery but it’s not really something you can just up and do one day either). Lol.
 

Soku39

Well-Known Member
Do you know how much money you can make welding? I would actually think about that as a second career if a flight physical went south. Easily as much or more than you would make at the regional level.
I've worked the factory floor in summer with welders around, no air conditioning because we were working on stainless, there ain't a big enough fan in the world... I mean you think the CRJ is uncomfortable in the summer, try that out. Worked outdoors in the winter. I've seen what guys look like after all the decades. No thanks. Me and some buddies have a motorcycle shop where we build frame up customs, thats enough manual labor, bloody knuckles, metal itching you in your clothes after grinding etc. for me.

Lol. I’m picturing someone who has worked as an airline pilot most of their adult life and the rude awakening they’d get working a welding job (if they managed to get through school and apprenticeship, it’s not rocket surgery but it’s not really something you can just up and do one day either). Lol.
Exactly this.
 
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lostplanetairman

Well-Known Member
About a week ago I posted a hand written table of the retirements, it was a little messy and was brought to my attention that I used Delta numbers twice instead of United's numbers.. (whoops!) Had to fix that so I decided to make an excel spread sheet instead of another hand written table. It covers retirements from 2018-2032 with a ten year total in the middle. As we have seen, the numbers are pretty staggering and really don't stop even in 2032 which was my last year displayed. The peak is the mid 2020's but each airline hits a peak at different times. This time I also included UPS and FedEx into the numbers. I haven't used Excel in a long time so I apologize if it's not reader friendly, the table is attached below as a PDF

This data was pulled from the retirement numbers off of APC, I know these numbers change from time to time and will most likely do a 6 month review and edit as necessary. I would also like to get actual retirement numbers at the end of each year for each carrier to see how accurate these projections are.

Some eye opening stats include :

-by 2028, 28,274 pilots will retire. That doesn’t account for other airlines like Spirit, allegiant, Frontier and JetBlue. It also doesn’t include regional lifers and the corporate world.

-by 2032, 38,459 pilots will retire out of the 60043 pilots on the seniority list today. That is 64%.

-By 2032, 76% of current pilots at AA will retire and 80% of UPS will retire.

-Alaska seems to have the least amount of retirements at 44% by 2032. That doesn’t include the Virgin merger either which is a younger pilot group as well.
Here is Spirit's as of July, 2017; the January, 2018 retirement list did not include this tally. 2017 was actually 5 but 4 of us had already retired by July 1 so we didn't get counted in.

1522444969647.png
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
Thanks for posting. I'm confident that there has never been a better time to be an airline pilot.
We all thought the same in 2000. People with offers from Delta, American, and United as soon as they hit 1000 PIC in a Beech 1900. Then it all changed rather abruptly and those same guys were furloughed and flying right seat at a regional again.

Always prepare for the worst.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
We all thought the same in 2000. People with offers from Delta, American, and United as soon as they hit 1000 PIC in a Beech 1900. Then it all changed rather abruptly and those same guys were furloughed and flying right seat at a regional again.

Always prepare for the worst.
I definitely agree with prepare for the worse, but have we ever seen something this large?

It probably won't hurt the huge airlines too dramatically but I wonder what happens to the lower levels of aviation. I did read UND had record breaking aviation students enroll. Although I won't hold my breath, a lot of kids don't make it through flight training.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
I definitely agree with prepare for the worse, but have we ever seen something this large?

It probably won't hurt the huge airlines too dramatically but I wonder what happens to the lower levels of aviation. I did read UND had record breaking aviation students enroll. Although I won't hold my breath, a lot of kids don't make it through flight training.
Think of it like this; everyone is one merger or fleet consolidation away from their career plans being destroyed.

Imagine if Jetblue and Alaska merge. You'll have a combined pilot group of almost 6,000 overnight, and no need for JetBlue to continue to take aircraft orders. What was a 4 year upgrade becomes a 15 year upgrade overnight. That doesn't even consider the combined airline parking all the 190's.

And speaking of, United parked their entire 737 fleet in the late 2000's, that was almost 100 airframes gone, and resulted in a double furlough for large number of United pilots.

What if spirit and frontier merge, and again, stop taking orders. 2 year upgrades become 15 years overnight.

Or God forbid, what if southwest buys any airline and then nearly staples them to the bottom of the southwest seniority list? Look at all the airtran guys who would have been much better off career wise if they'd never merged.

And this doesn't even touch what happened at Airways and America West.

There are a lot of bad things that have happened in this industry. There are more bad things that WILL happen. Anyone who thinks any of us are immune to these forces is a fool. Nobody, not even the guys at American are immune; what happens when the airline decides to park the 737 fleet because of an economic downturn so the airline can shrink to profitablity?

It's all happened before, and it'll happen again to someone.
 

amorris311

Well-Known Member
Do you know how much money you can make welding? I would actually think about that as a second career if a flight physical went south. Easily as much or more than you would make at the regional level.
It's sad. The local CC offers a welding class one night a week for 16 weeks. I've signed up twice and get a call about a month before it starts to say it is cancelled due to lack of interest.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
Think of it like this; everyone is one merger or fleet consolidation away from their career plans being destroyed.

Imagine if Jetblue and Alaska merge. You'll have a combined pilot group of almost 6,000 overnight, and no need for JetBlue to continue to take aircraft orders. What was a 4 year upgrade becomes a 15 year upgrade overnight. That doesn't even consider the combined airline parking all the 190's.

And speaking of, United parked their entire 737 fleet in the late 2000's, that was almost 100 airframes gone, and resulted in a double furlough for large number of United pilots.

What if spirit and frontier merge, and again, stop taking orders. 2 year upgrades become 15 years overnight.

Or God forbid, what if southwest buys any airline and then nearly staples them to the bottom of the southwest seniority list? Look at all the airtran guys who would have been much better off career wise if they'd never merged.

And this doesn't even touch what happened at Airways and America West.

There are a lot of bad things that have happened in this industry. There are more bad things that WILL happen. Anyone who thinks any of us are immune to these forces is a fool. Nobody, not even the guys at American are immune; what happens when the airline decides to park the 737 fleet because of an economic downturn so the airline can shrink to profitablity?

It's all happened before, and it'll happen again to someone.
I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying. I stay cautiously optimistic. I think the future is bright, but I'm not going to bank on getting lucky. I'm not going to bank on mergers, bank on retirements, or bank on the economy either.

I was just pointing out doesn't it seem like this wave is a bit more catastrophic than we've seen. Have we ever had this many retirements with this little of airlines? I mean in 2000 how many airlines did we have to merge with one another. Unless we see the airlines forming into 4-5 airlines left, it's getting pretty bleak. Also retirement numbers international are worse if I remember correctly.

Again, I'm not saying that guarantees you anything or it will play out like this. The economy could tank in a month and airlines halt all this expansion. I realize that. We could play that what if game all day. I'm just talking about what the industry has experienced, if we've ever seen a forecast this dramatic.
 

Richman

Well-Known Member
It's sad. The local CC offers a welding class one night a week for 16 weeks. I've signed up twice and get a call about a month before it starts to say it is cancelled due to lack of interest.
Same here, except with AC servicing....which around here is like having the only water concession in the Sahara.

Not saying ANY of it is easy. That was never my point. But you get to the money much faster and its WAY more reliable. My GF's father was a welder for 40 years. As patient a man as you ever saw, but after a fruitless day of trying to teach me the basics said "uh, stick to flying"...
 
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