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23 Oct, 2013

German Pilots Grounded as $92,000 Tuition Can’t Bring Job – Bloomberg

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg)– Christopher Siem is spending 70,000 euros ($92,000) out of his own pocket to train as a pilot, a job where the unemployment rate is twice the German average.

Siem, 24, is among Germany’s aspiring pilots whose dreams of a career in the cockpit have been dented as the country’s airlines slash their fleets. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), which has about 5,500 pilots, will limit its fleet to 400 planes and cut 3,500 jobs, while Air Berlin Plc (AB1) is also curbing crew numbers as it pares the aircraft roster by 27 over two years.

“I doubt I’ll get a job in the cockpit immediately,” said Siem, who is undergoing two years’ of training mainly at Frankfurt, where the sight of aircraft using a taxiway above the road he cycles each morning provides much-needed motivation to stick with the tuition. His parents help foot the bill.

A pilot glut extends across much of Europe as former flag carriers drop routes and minor operators get squeezed by high fuel costs and slow growth.

Read the rest: German Pilots Grounded as $92,000 Tuition Can’t Bring Job – Bloomberg.