Even before the coronavirus pandemic grounded U.S. airlines in March 2020, a shortage of qualified pilots was looming. Today, even though air travel has come back much stronger and earlier than expected — and major carriers are returning to profitability — the struggle to maintain enough cockpit crews has developed into an acute problem that many travelers are experiencing in the form of canceled flights. To help fix it, carriers are aggressively competing for the available pilots. Focusing more long-term, though, airlines are boosting training programs to unprecedented levels and trying to attract a younger and more diverse next generation of aviators. Airlines are struggling to find those pilots apt for the job, as the new generation of aviators doesn’t exceed the number needed to fill the positions required. Getting more pilots with experience will be difficult as many older pilots are retiring, and the number of available pilots is not as expected. As a result, many airlines are moving onto ways of getting more capable pilots in less time, considering that those pilots are skilled enough to travel long distances and have enough flying hours to be part of the crew.