One of the subtler but perhaps more profound sea-changes we can expect to experience in 2019 is the rise of a new generation – the post-Millennial Generation Z. And that should be good news.
What was so bad about the Millennials, also known as Generation Y? For those of us – like me – who have never given this warm fuzzy stuff much attention, the term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals born between 1980 and 2000. Who are the Millennials – and what do they have to do with flying?
According to popular culture, Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world. Notable, from a magazine publishing perspective, is that the much-hyped move to digital publishing has peaked, and readers are moving back to print – despite the still useless post office.
The Millennials were encouraged to follow their dreams and were told that they were special, so they tend to be confident, if not overconfident. This confidence may spill over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism, and has been the subject of much mockery in social commentary.
From a flying viewpoint, entitlement and overconfidence are contra-indicated for becoming a professional pilot. The thing about being a professional pilot is that it’s like brain surgery – you cannot fake it. It takes years of hard slog to get an ATPL and master the required skills and experience. Those without the necessary commitment and hand-eye coordination cannot use their father’s (or cronies) political connections to progress up the ladder and become the proverbial ‘fence post turtles’ we see in business and government.
Given Generation Y’s postulated general sense of entitlement and lack of commitment to putting in ‘the hard yards’, there was a subdued demand by this cohort to become airline pilots. For this reason a special focus for SA Flyer and FlightCom over the next year will be the recruitment and training of the next generation of airline pilots.
With that in mind, I am thrilled to announce that we have an exciting new writing talent – who is also passionate about flying. Johan Walden is just 17 years old, but he already has his PPL, and is pushing hard towards his Comm licence. His column begins this month.
Being born in 2001 makes Johan a member of the post-Millennial Generation Z. This generation is characterised as being loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible, and determined – good attributes to become professional pilots.
To make SA Flyer more relevant to Generation Z we are bringing the excitement of flying to this new generation. We will not stray from our commitment to be, first and foremost, entertaining and educational, but we will make sure that we are indeed entertaining and relevant to Generation Z – and not just to a bunch of old ‘when we-s’.
We promise that the next generation can look forward to a whole lot more information and sharing of the passion of flying that will appeal directly to their tastes.