Regional Airlines are Offering Signing and Retention Bonuses to Pilots

The acute shortage of pilots qualified to fly for the airlines is causing regional airlines to offer huge signing bonuses to pilots. Airlines are offering substantial incentives to their pilots to stay at that airline and not leave for other airlines. Comparisons of these incentives are shown in the table below.

Airline Signing/Retention Program Effective Wages Year One Captain Upgrade Time/Years
Endeavor $10,000 Training Completion Bonus, $2,000 Pilot Referral Bonus. $61,600 1.5
CommutAir $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI & $6,000 Retention Bonus, PLUS $22,100 sign-on bonus paid prior to start of training. $2,500 Pilot Referral Bonus. Direct Captain eligible pilots will receive a $50,000 sign-on bonus and immediate captain upgrade opportunities, and up to $122,000 in year one benefits and compensation. $74,000 1.5
Silver $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus OR a $12,000 Signing Bonus: $3000 paid upon completion of training, $3000 paid after one year, and $6000 after the second year. $2,500 per pilot referral bonus. $41,600 1.5
GoJet $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus OR a $50,000 signing bonus. All new hire First Officers are eligible for a $26,000 New Hire bonus, paid over year one, a $15,000 bonus paid over year two, and a $10,000 bonus paid over year three. Current and qualified pilots from any scheduled US or international air carrier are eligible for an additional $5,000 bonus. $10,000 bonus for each successful pilot referral. $75,955 1.5
Piedmont $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus and $5,200 Signing Bonus OR a $18,000 Signing Bonus, $5,000 for Part 121 Experience. $63,000 1.5
PSA $18,000 Signing Bonus, $5000 bonus for CRJ Type Rating, $21,000 First Officer retention bonus after one-year anniversary. $72,000 1.5
Envoy Air $5000 retention bonus and $17,100 signing bonus or Receive a $10,000 bonus when you complete training, and an additional $8,000 bonus after completing one year of service. Envoy employees participate in American Airlines Group Profit Sharing. $60,700 2.5
Republic $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI & $6,000 Retention bonus PLUS $6,500 signing bonus or $17,500 Signing Bonus, $4,000 Referral Bonus. $64,900 1.5
SkyWest $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus.  A $7,500 bonus for pilots with current turbojet type rating is available upon completion of IOE. The $7,500 bonus is also available for qualified military pilots. $51,500 1.5
Mesa $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus and ATP-CTP, Pilots receive $50,000 in incentive compensation during the first 3 years of employment as a First Officer. $22,500 paid after the completion of training. $22,100 paid after the completion of training. $5,000 additional payment for pilots who currently have 500 hours of part 121 flight time in a CRJ, EMB145, or EMB175. $2,500 additional payment for pilots who choose the CRJ and currently hold a CL-65 Type Rating. $20,000 paid at the completion of the third year of employment. $64,780 1.5
Trans States $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus OR up to $40,000 in year one bonuses: a $15,000 retention bonus paid upon completion of IOE, $10,000 Type Rating Bonus upon completion of IOE, $15,000 at the end of year one. $10,000 Pilot Referral bonus. $86,000 1.5
Compass $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus OR a $7,500 signing bonus, paid out after the completion of IOE. $10,000 per pilot referral bonus. $60,500 2.0
ExpressJet $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus plus $22,000 signing bonus, $10,000 earned quarterly override paid out in $2,500 increments, $1,000 pilot referral bonus, $5000 Type Rating Bonus. $66,100 3
Air Wisconsin $31,000 Sign-on Bonuses with $5,000 paid on first paycheck, $26,000 paid at completion of IOE, $18,000 Retention Bonuses $10,000 paid after first anniversary, $8,000 if pilot has not upgraded to Captain, $8,000 Type Rating Bonus -Pilots with Part 91K, 121 or 135 carrier with an ATP and type rating in an aircraft greater than 12,500 lbs. Paid at the completion of IOE. $67,720 1.5
Horizon Air $5,000 ATP Tuition Reimbursement as CFI plus $6,000 Retention Bonus. New hire bonus ($25,000 for Q400 pilots, $20,000 for E175 pilots), Up to $5,200 in company performance bonus. Up to $5,400 per diem. $65,800 1.5

The table also shows the effect of the incentives on beginning pay for newly hired first officers.

Flying for the airlines has always been one of the most desirable careers available, and now the airline industry is beginning to make the career more attractive and attainable. Explore aviation as a career choice and you will see that the return-on-investment is the best of any career available today.

One way to make that critical investment in an aviation career a successful one is to obtain the most efficient and time-proven Airline Career-path flight training offered today. When your career depends on it choose ATP, the proven provider of pilots the airlines prefer to hire.