BUDAPEST – As airlines struggle to find qualified pilots to match soaring demand, one airline has the perfect solution to help its pilots push through the fatigue and keep flying: Red Bull.
Pilot shortages are a common refrain this summer as demand for post-pandemic travel has soared and airlines have been caught flat-footed with far-too-few pilots for the demand. In a bid to keep more planes in the air, airline CEOs are pushing their pilots harder than ever.
Recently, Wizz Air CEO József Váradi told his pilots to push through the fatigue. We now also know that Wizz Air is handing out cases of Red Bull to its pilots to help them stay awake and safely (well, mostly safely) fly the plane.
Reportedly, other airlines in similar staffing situations are considering mirroring Wizz Air in an attempt to keep more pilots in the air. Although unconfirmed, industry insiders are telling us that various airlines are considering or already doing several things including these ideas below:
- Spirit Airlines is handing out small baggies of cocaine to its pilots (this has the side benefit of helping them power through the loading of luggage on their flights too)
- Aeroflot has hired dominatrixes to whip pilots when their eyes droop a bit
- Huge cases of No Doz have been purchased by Ryanair
- Delta Airlines has hired retired Drill Sergeants to just hurl insults at pilots throughout the flight.
- Former military vets turned commercial pilots are sharing a video with other pilots teaching them how to take instant coffee and “dip it” like tobacco for an instant caffeine rush
- Allegiant is…well, actually, Allegiant isn’t doing anything because no one is flying them anymore
- Breeze Airlines has been instructed to crack a cockpit window if you feel tired or sleepy and also told its pilots to slap their faces 3 or 4 times when feeling exhausted
- United Airlines has suggested that pilots should pull over if they feel tired and catch a few winks before continuing their journey, ideally at a Flying J truck stop.
- Southwest Airlines is rolling out a new recruiting program targeted at long haul truckers who are already accustomed to little sleep