Impact of COVID-19 on Job Satisfaction: The Case of Military and Airline Pilots

James Blundell, Panagiotis Kioulepoglou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


To investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the military and airline pilots’ Job Satisfaction (JS), and identify important contributory factors to support the development of future mitigating strategies.

The aviation industry has undergone a series of devastating changes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the implications of the pandemic on pilots’ JS are unknown.

Quantitative JS measurements were taken from 203 European and Middle Eastern pilots, during the pandemic (March, 2021), using the shortened Job Descriptive Index and Job In General validated scales. Follow-up semi-structured interviews (April 2021) were conducted with 16 participants to establish pre-pandemic JS levels and identify the degree of change due to COVID-19.

Significant JS differences (p < .001) were observed between military and airline pilots; the former having higher levels. Qualitative findings revealed that airline pilots’ levels decreased due to factors such as job security, pay cuts, opportunities for promotion and skill-fade concerns. Military pilots experienced an increased JS, as state-funded organizations were not substantially affected by COVID-19, which led to a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness.

COVID-19 has caused a major disruption to JS of military and airline pilots. Suggested mitigation measures for the civil aviation sector comprised effective communication between pilots and managers to reduce the pandemic-induced job uncertainty. Solutions such as extra flight simulator sorties were recommended to tackle the skill-fade effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-202
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Aerospace Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


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