Thousands of professionals have seen their flight plans sharply reduced with the end of air traffic, travel restrictions and the closing of borders.
Once their license has been acquired, airline pilots extend it every year, following a compulsory medical examination by a doctor approved by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC). In order to keep it, pilots must justify recent experience. International civil aviation regulations require them to have made at least 3 takeoffs and 3 landings in real operating conditions over a period of 90 days. Otherwise, they must carry out training on flight simulators lasting at least 3 hours 30 minutes.
However, thousands of pilots have seen their flight plan sharply reduced with the end of air traffic, travel restrictions and the closing of borders. So that their pilots do not lose their flight license, many companies such as Air France had set up dedicated “special Covid” sessions on simulators after the first confinement. Since the resumption of flights, traffic has not returned to its pre-health crisis levels. Many companies “run” their pilots. Air France, which achieved between 20 and 25% of its medium-haul program and 50% of its long-haul in January 2021, has its 3,600 pilots flying on a work-study basis.