The fact that the regional airlines are in the midst of the most severe pilot shortage in the history of the airline industry cannot be argued, and isn’t among reasonably informed people. I’ve had many discussions with airline executives and they all agree with that statement wholeheartedly. The fact that even the largest of the regional airlines are cutting back on flying offered to their major airline partners, or even being sued by their major airline partners for allegedly not meeting contractual performance standards, is being reported in the news almost daily. There is more to the story though.
There has been recent news of the most successful regional airlines being given new regional jet aircraft to add to their fleets, along with the additional flying that goes along with them. What hasn’t reached the daily news is the fact that some of these new announcements of aircraft being awarded to airlines were about aircraft that were initially awarded to another airline. The airlines losing their previously awarded aircraft could not meet pilot recruiting demands, and the major airline affiliate withdrew the aircraft assignment due to a lack of confidence. The major airline then re-awarded those aircraft to airlines with a proven track record of meeting contractual demands. Expect to see more of this in the near future.
The fact that the airlines most successful in meeting their recruiting goals are partners with ATP in the Tuition Reimbursement Program cannot be argued either. The Tuition Reimbursement Program allows airlines to help pay for airline-style flight training while an ATP flight-student is still with ATP, and continues to do so after the ATP pilot has gone on to fly for their airline. This is the first time in history that airlines have reached out to subsidize airline career-oriented flight training.
The fact that the airlines consider ATP and the Airline Career Pilot Program to be the best source of airline-ready pilots to fly for their airlines is proven by history over the last 30 years. The news is that the airlines are working alongside ATP to bring new talent into the airline industry by supporting the Tuition Reimbursement Program.
If you want a career flying for the airlines, the clear choice for flight training that will help you achieve your career goals the quickest and help you begin to accrue seniority the soonest is training with ATP. Seniority matters, believe me. Get the job first with ATP.