State-owned Rossiya hires foreign pilots for the first time in its history
The worldwide pilot shortage extends to Russia too, with the state-owned carrier Rossiya having to recruit from overseas for the first time in its history.
The problem in Russia is made worse because hundreds of Russian pilots have been quitting airlines in their own country since the 2014 devaluation of the rouble, bne Intellinews and the media group RBC report.
Russian pilots are highly qualified and highly experienced and can quite easily find work abroad where the pay is several times higher.
Gone are the days when Russia’s large population and traditions of military training meant a steady supply of qualified pilots for its airlines.
The national carrier Aeroflot is suffering from rising costs driven by wage inflation. Its acute labour shortage has forced it to lobby the Ministry of Transport for changes to the training system for pilots, to make it quicker to train pilots at airline training centres.
Rossiya is trying to hire foreign pilots – mostly from the other former Soviet republics – for flights from Moscow, St Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don, who will fly Boeing 737s, 777s and 747s and Airbus 320s.
The captains will earn up to RUB 500,000 (€6,310) per month, which is about ten times the average wage in Russia, the co-pilots earning RUB 240,000.