The United States airline industry is expected to be short more than 12,000 pilots next year.
The FAA requires pilots to retire at age 65 and by one estimate, almost half of them will within fifteen years. The pandemic has compounded the problem making it difficult to pace with all the open seats. United Airlines is launching a program to train the next generation of pilots including promoting other workers like flight attendants to fill those vacancies.
"We've got over 100 regional aircraft that effectively aren't flying because there are not enough pilots to fly them," said Scott Kirby with United Airlines.
United expects 50 percent of their pilots to come from this program, and half of those will be women and people of color.