According to the airline consulting agencies this system is quite unpopular, but this is how the industry works and no one can change it. It is true that for people like us this is very much irritating, but one should know the basic reason behind this is the oil prices. Since the oil prices are quite soaring high, many of the airlines are either getting bankrupted or closing down.
Now most of the aviation consulting services feel that airlines will have many ways to cut costs and one of the methods is asking the pilots to pay. At times a lot of countries used to make the flying charges free and the pilot rating paid for it. But many expats abused and took advantage of this system. As soon as they got the hours and rating, they would run to their home country.
It is very much true that the ratings are not inexpensive and airlines do need to make some decent money. It is not a free scholarship or school offering, but a traveling scheme and most of the airlines are privately owned, making it necessary for the owners to get profit. Now according to airline consulting agencies, there is some good news. If you are a local citizen, you would be still sponsored through the normal rating scheme.
Now whatever the decision or plan is followed, one must remember that it is for the benefit of the passengers that the airline industry has taken the extreme step. Just imagine if most of the airline companies become bankrupted, then there will be a shortage of flights and overcrowding at the airport. Plus it will put pressure on the pilots as they will have to work around the clock.
In short the concept 'Pay to Fly' can be termed as a semi-profitable scheme and it depends on the situation.