Regional airlines face difficulty finding pilots -U.S. GAO

Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:30am EST

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Regional airlines are having a hard time finding pilots, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a study published on Friday.

The agency, which analyzed data on pilots from 2000 to 2012 and other information, said 11 of 12 regional carriers it interviewed for its study had problems hiring entry-level pilots.

The report added that while bigger airlines did not report similar difficulties finding pilots, they were still concerned that problems faced by regional partners could affect their ability to provide flights to some areas.

The study comes as some regional carriers have voiced concerns about a pilot shortage. Earlier this month, Republic Airways Holdings said a scarcity of qualified pilots would hurt pretax income as it cuts its planned flying.