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International Journal of Aviation Management (2 papers in press)
The Worlds Commercial Pilots are Low in Supply but High in Homogeneity.
by Sebastian Hall Abstract: This paper argues that the worlds commercial pilots are remarkably homogeneous and that this characteristic of the Global Pilot Labor Market (GPLM) is related to the global commercial pilot shortage. The paper contends that, through understanding the homogeneity of commercial pilots, both individual firms and the wider aviation industry should be capable of establishing effective initiatives that will help mitigate and alleviate the shortage by having a positive impact on pilot recruitment, retention and attendance. First, the nature of the global commercial pilot shortage is discussed. This includes an analysis of the current data which supports the existence of a pilot shortage. The paper then explores the wide-ranging societal downsides of such a labor shortage, arguing that there are undesirable impacts on global prosperity, the environment and passenger safety. The second half of the paper sets out the fundamental argument that the worlds commercial pilots are remarkably homogenous with respect to personality, beliefs and values. This is argued through a series of factors analyzed chronologically over a typical pilots life cycle, beginning with sex determination at conception and ending with professional retirement. The paper contends that the homogeneity of the GPLM means that well-chosen internal Human Resource Management (HRM) initiatives within large firms will be highly effective because the policies will have the same effect on a large proportion of any commercial pilot workforce, given their general homogeneity. The paper concludes by acknowledging that its key contention (commercial pilot homogeneity) is merely identifying the vulnerable weak spot of the pilot supply problem; considerable further research is required in order to ascertain which particular HRM policies should be adopted to exploit this foible of the GPLM.
Keywords: pilots labour market; global aviation; airline management; personnel economics; ICAO; pilot shortage; pilot recruitment; pilot retention; pilot homogeneity.
Commercial air transport in Africa: changing structure and development of country pairs by Sören Eriksson, Bengt Söderlund Abstract: This study investigates cross-border commercial air passenger traffic in Africa, focusing on the development of the 15 busiest country pairs during the period 1989 to 2015. It explores dimensions not previously studied by using ICAO's 'Traffic by Flight Stage' (TFS) and data from the CEPII Gravity Dataset. The spatial results show on an uneven geographical distribution of country pairs with the centre of gravity to South, East and North-East Africa, with one long-distance corridor between Egypt and South Africa. Countries in North and West Africa have rather few linkages, except for Egypt. Central African countries are not represented among the 15 country pairs. Although the number of passengers and the rank among the countries have shifted, South Africa and Egypt stand out, as having most country pair connections. Factors such as changing economic, diplomatic and political relations have had an influence on changing country pair connections throughout the period. A number of variables were selected to investigate how they correlated with Africas commercial passenger traffic. Of the seven variables selected, five did show on a correlation and two did partly so. In that view, Africa's air traffic follows rather typical patterns. Keywords: transport geography; Africa aviation; commercial aviation; aviation networks; aviation geography; aviation country pairs; aviation hubs.