The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and several Japanese airlines have established a special committee to discuss countermeasures to resolve the serious shortage of pilots.
Peach Aviation Ltd, a joint venture backed by Japan's largest airline, ANA Holdings, canceled more than 2,000 flights this year, 16% of its planned total. Budget carriers Jetstar Japan and Vanilla Air have also cancelled hundreds of flights this summer, a government report on pilot shortages showed.
By 2030, a large number of commercial pilots will be retiring from service. As such, the need to train a new group of pilots has become an important issue.
Transport ministry official Akihiko Nakamura told reporters after the committee's first meeting that it is imperative for the ministry and the airlines to work together in order to increase the number of and well-trained pilots, Sankei Shimbun reported Friday.
One suggestion being considered is to provide scholarships to individuals seeking to obtain their pilot's license from private universities where tuition can exceed 20 million or more yen.
The U.N.'s aviation agency warned two years ago that demand for pilots is expected to double by 2030, with the shortage of crew particularly acute in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the markets are expanding rapidly.
In 2010, there were an estimated 460,000 licensed pilots in the world but more than 980,000 are expected to be needed by 2030, the International Civil Aviation Organization said.
"There aren't enough captains and training one takes time and money," said a Peach Aviation spokesman.© Japan Today