Dear Capt Lim,
It was mentioned that a pilot has to retire at the age of 60 years old. May I know is there any job prospects after the airline retirement? What can an ex-airline pilot do after retirement?
It is not true that airline pilots have to retire at the age of 60 years. On 13th December 2007, a law in the USA (Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act) was passed to allow airline pilots to fly until the age of 65. The legislation put the U.S. retirement age in line with international standards. The International Civil Aviation Organization adopted an age 65 retirement age in November 2006. However, for international flights, one of the limitations is that, one pilot may be up to 65 years provided the other pilot is below 60 years.
I am glad that this legislation has finally enabled me to fly international routes again. So even though the law has allowed pilots to fly up to 65 years, many airlines have not made that as the mandatory retiring age for the company. Some still stick to 55 years (British Airways) whilst others are happy with 60 years. In view of the shortage of experienced pilots worldwide, many airlines are now extending the tenure of their pilots to the regulated 65 years.
What are the job prospects for pilots after retirement? Yes, there are some jobs still available if the old pilots are still fit and healthy and wish to continue working. However, some find jobs related to flying still stressful and would call it a day and spend more of their time playing golf or pursue other interests.
I have seen many of my colleagues contributing their experiences as simulator flying instructors or chief ground instructors and still love doing it. What is wrong working beyond 65 years if one is having a great time doing it and being paid reasonably well (pocket money?) for having fun!
So if you still enjoy doing what you do, there are still good productive options available for an ex-airline pilot with gray hairs (or no hairs ) after 65 years!