The Air Line Pilots Association at Delta is negotiating an early retirement package that would confer some pay and benefits until eligible pilots reach the mandatory retirement age of 65. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp. have offered similar kinds of incentives.

Ultimately, the upheaval may put travelers in the hands of less-experienced pilots, according to Mark Charman, chief executive officer and founder of aviation and pilot-hiring company Goose Recruitment. As the crisis pushes veterans out, it also dissuades others from joining up—especially when they typically pay $150,000 to get qualified for commercial flying.

“A brain drain of experienced talent leaving at the top and not enough new talent joining at the bottom will drive big future skills shortages,” Charman said. “Becoming a pilot is not as attractive as it once was.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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