The RCAF is offering former military pilots who have now been laid off by the airlines because of the coronavirus pandemic the chance to rejoin the forces. So far at least 26 pilots have gotten in touch with the military about the offer and that’s more than 10 percent of the pilot deficit the RCAF is now coping with. The RCAF has been ramping up retention and recruitment efforts in the past year as a pilot shortage has taken hold in the industry as a whole and airlines have been actively recruiting the most experienced military pilots. Many RCAF pilots can retire in their 40s for a pension of more than half their military salary, enabling them to withstand the cut in pay that jumping to the airlines often entails.
With thousands of pilots furloughed because of the pandemic, the Air Force is touting the security of being a military pilot.
“For those seeking to re-enrol in the CAF and/or those seeking to join, we are open for business; we are well postured to receive applications and expedite the processing where feasible,” said Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance in a Tweet. “Innovative recruiting solutions are in place and virtual enrolments are happening across Canada.” The RCAF is short about 200 pilots and all training, including flight training, has been suspended to prevent the spread of the virus in the military ranks so it can be deployed to aid in the pandemic fight. “I commend you all for your discipline and focus as we continue to preserve Force health and take the steps necessary to be ready for just about anything,” Vance said.