Nergård compares the development in aviation now to what happened in shipping 30 years ago.
Norway was a proud maritime nation with many Norwegian sailors sailing the world’s oceans. Now there is hardly any left. They have been replaced by cheaper workers from other countries.
– We see the rules of the traditional Scandinavian game in work life being transferred to other countries by establishing subsidiaries. This challenges the wages and working conditions of Norwegian workers, says Vegard Nergaard, professor of aviation at the University of Tromsø.
The aviation tax in Tromsø has not experienced any decline in the number of applicants so far. Last year, the University of Tromsø had 320 applicants for 12 places in the undergraduate pilot education.
– We have not noticed any decline in the number of applicants, says Nergaard.
Unlike those who receive a private pilot education, who have millions in debt, Tromsø students only have regular student loans and do not pay tuition.
– May compromise security
But students are worried about the developments in the aviation industry.
– SAS is a company I have been looking forward to for a long time and they have always been my first choice to fly with. They have set a standard in Scandinavian and international aviation both in terms of work culture and passenger handling. But now SAS seems to be going down a path in recent times, and I fear it will make it a less profitable company for pilots to work for. Maybe it’s an institution you look down on, says Holm, who speaks as student union president. for Aviation at UiT.
– Do you think it will affect the safety if the situation of the pilots gets too bad?
– This is a difficult question. The more pilots work and stress, the bigger the role it plays. One thing, for example, what changes and working conditions you have. Another thing is that if the working conditions and wages are too bad, you won’t get the best candidates. There’s no advantage to many being young, and experience is key, Holm insists.
Fellow student Marie Askwick also points out that if there is a shortage of pilots, it could be a safety issue.
– There are many certified pilots who do not get jobs after interview due to various reasons. If there is a shortage of pilots, companies will have to hire existing ones to fill the seats, which will not be good, he says.
Askvig is disillusioned with SAS, and believes they are relegating themselves to the status previously reserved for low-cost airlines. For her, working conditions are more important than salary.
SAS was decent
– If SAS gets away with what they’re doing now, it sets a terrible precedent for the industry, Askvig believes.
He thinks SAS stands out as a company that treats its employees right, and believes many people choose to fly with them precisely for that reason.
– They are decent, superior to low cost companies and provide good working conditions to their employees. If SAS gets away with what they are doing now, it sets a terrible precedent for the airline industry.
SAS does not identify itself in the description given by the students as an institution.
– We do not share a picture of reality. “Our focus right now is to save SAS,” says Donje Sund, the company’s press manager.
Both Asgwick and Holm are concerned with combining this career with the prospect of a good family life. Then predictable working hours are essential.
Full war of words on SAS strike: – We’ve reached the pain threshold
Gardermoen (VG) pilots feel they have nothing to offer, and the head of the Norwegian Pilots Association says they are ready to…
Although Holm worries about the future of the industry, he can’t imagine any career other than his boyhood dream of becoming a pilot.
– It is a very special feeling of mastery and control, which I have not experienced anywhere else. At the same time you can always visit other countries, people and new situations.
One of the pieces of advice they received at school was to think long and hard about applying for jobs when they moved out.
– We only have regular student loans and don’t have to accept the first and best job when we graduate. “We learned that we should try to wait for a job that is respected,” says student pilot Carl Martin Holm.
“Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru.”