The pilot shortage has affected the entire Airline Industry, but nowhere is the pain felt as much is in the Regional Airlines. Some Regional Airlines have had to park some of their aircraft because they could not find enough pilots to fly them. At least two Airlines have significantly raised the pay rates for their pilots, beginning a trend that will surely spread to the other Regional Airlines soon.
United Express carrier CommutAir has raised the starting pay for new First Officers to $30,000 per year, which is an increase of nearly twenty-one percent. Commutair also gave a seven percent raise to their Captains, and an even larger raise for their Captains flying 50 seat aircraft. The carrier also helped improve the quality of life for their entire pilot group by significantly loosening up rules about commuting to work, offering to pay parking for pilot’s cars while working and improving pay for pilots who are deadheading (a pilot riding in the back of an aircraft to re-position to another airport to work a flight).
Silver Airways, a Fort Lauderdale based regional airline code-sharing with United Airlines, has also raised the pay for new First Officers to $30,000. This increase is in the form of a significant bonus of $12,000 given to new pilots in their first year. Silver is responding to the loss of their pilots which has forced them to ground several aircraft, and cut back service to some destinations.
Pilots for one of the United States’ largest regional airlines, Indy based Republic Airlines, just voted down a proposal that would have raised their new First Officer pay to $30,000 because they want a bigger raise. Republic Airlines management has said that they are going to try again to come to an agreement that their pilots would approve soon.
Pay is starting to get better for Regional Airline Pilots, as well as the work rules that greatly affect a pilot’s quality of life. This is good news, and we can only assume that the rest of the industry will see that this will help not only pilots but the entire industry.