Iceland Mag

14 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Economy

Shortage of domestic pilots forces WOW air to look abroad

By Staff

  • Budget airline WOW air recently announced it had purchased seven new airplanes. Photo/Vísir

Almost half of the pilots currently employed by Icelandic budget airline WOW air are foreign nationals. The recent boom in tourism in Iceland and the aggressive expansion of the airline have meant there are not enough domestic pilots to man its fleet. Most of the foreign pilots come from Western Europe.

WOW air has expanded its operation considerably since the airline was founded six years ago. It now runs a fleet of thirteen aircraft but aims to bring that number to 24 by the end of next year in an effort to double its number of passengers.

Read more: WOW air has purchased seven new planes, aims at doubling its operations in next few years

"There's a persistent shortage of pilots. The flight schools can't keep up supplying new pilots to both airlines. WOW air is growing aggressively and it needs people to fly these planes. They simply don't exist in Iceland, particularly experienced pilots," the leader of the Wow air pilots' union said to local news site Vísir.

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