A Visit with ExpressJet

ATP enjoys long standing partnerships with almost all of the regional airlines in the United States, and one of the best parts of my job is the time I spend interacting with recruiting departments at these airlines so that we can keep our Regional Jet Program up to date and serving both the airlines and our students in the manner that they have come to expect from ATP. A few days ago I spent the day visiting the recruiting department at ASA/ExpressJet.

I went to Atlanta to meet with ExpressJet to sign a new agreement between ExpressJet and ATP which guarantees ATP Graduates a preferred interview with ExpressJet upon successful completion of our Regional Jet Standards Certification Program. The agreement is already posted on ATPFlightschool.com for all to see.

The first thing I noticed upon arrival at the ASA’s home hangar at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport was that all of the “ASA” signs were coming down and they were being replaced by the airline’s new name which is ExpressJet. As you all know, SkyWest purchased both ASA and ExpressJet and merged the two airlines together. It was decided after much internal conversation that the name Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) didn’t really encompass all that the newly merged airline is aspiring to do so they switched to the time honored brand of ExpressJet.

Once inside the enormous building that formerly served as the Headquarters for Delta Airlines, I was once again impressed with the ExpressJet recruiting staff and how much thought and research that they put into recruiting the next generation of ExpressJet Pilots. A large amount of research is done on the data gathered from past training classes and once it is all sorted out by the recruiting department’s researchers, reports are generated to clearly show the trends being exhibited by new recruits into ExpressJet’s flight department. Identifying these trends is not only useful to ExpressJet’s training department, but to the recruiting department also so that better informed hiring decisions can be made by Recruiters. I have to add that it was good to see in these reports, although it wasn’t surprising to me, that ATP Graduates ranked at the top of the scale with the least amount of additional sim sessions or other training required to successfully complete new hire training when compared to other sources of pilot recruits.

An exciting tidbit of information that I learned was that ExpressJet intends to hire over 400 new pilots in 2012. I saw quite a few aviators waiting patiently to begin the testing and interviewing process at ExpressJet while there, and I was told that ExpressJet hopes to interview 15 pilots every other day to fill new hire classes already scheduled and running this year. They will have to keep that pace if they hope to meet their recruiting goals for the year.

One thing that I didn’t expect to hear while visiting in Atlanta was that ExpressJet will be retrieving their retired EMB 135s from the desert storage lots they were “retired” to and they will be brought back into service to fly the line for ExpressJet. I’m sure that is not the most surprising thing that we will hear from the regional airline industry this year.