Murphy's Law: Airlines Lose Their Military Edge


January 2, 2010: For nearly half a century, the military faced heavy losses of pilots, because commercial flying offered higher pay, safer working conditions, and less time away from the family. Deregulation (of the air transportation industry) and prosperity (especially in the 1990s), has changed all that. While 90 percent of new hires in U.S. commercial aviation had military flying experience right after the Cold War ended, only 30 percent do today. The main reason for that is the deregulation of the airlines three decades ago. By the early 1990s, air fares had dropped 30 percent (after accounting for inflation). More people were flying, and more often. The economic boom of the 1990s enabled more new, no frills, low cost airlines to enter the business. These drove down the salaries for pilots, especially new hires. Meanwhile, the pay for military pilots went up. As a result, more and more military pilots decided to stay in uniform. Commercial aviation had finally lost its appeal for military pilots, and it's unlikely that pay for commercial pilots will ever return to its former heights.


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close