Dion Flannery is the president of PSA Airlines, which is a subsidiary of American Airlines. Mr. Flannery has been dealing with the pressure placed on his airline by the worsening pilot shortage for a few years now. This week he announced that PSA will offer a one-time bonus for all first officers at PSA in hopes that they will stay for a while instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to quickly move to the Major and Legacy Airlines.
Speaking about the pilot shortage Flannery said, “It’s reaching a crescendo. The problem is pervasive today, and there are no easy answers.”
PSA is a key player in the airline industry, operating hundreds of flights a day under the American Eagle brand. At Charlotte’s airport alone, PSA and other regional carriers flying for American Airlines account for 56 percent of the airline’s daily departures: 370 out of 650 flights a day, making the pilot shortage a threat not only to PSA but to the entire airline industry.
Mr. Flannery acknowledged going to flight school and completing all required training is “an expensive endeavor.” He said PSA, as other airlines are doing, is increasing pay and adding signing bonuses to entice pilots. The company announced this month that it’s awarding a one-time $20,000 retention bonus to all of its first officers, as well as providing a $250 monthly stipend that they can use to offset the expense of staying in hotels while commuting.
“There’s never been, at least in my view, a better time to be a commercial pilot,” Mr. Flannery said.
ATP has sent hundreds of pilots to fly for PSA. Those ATP trained pilots have been exemplary airmen and employees for PSA before moving up the ladder to fly for American or Delta.
These pilots also represent the airline career opportunities that are available today for those willing to begin training for exciting and lucrative careers as airline pilots. If a career flying for the airlines is for you, get there ahead of your competition because seniority means everything in the airlines. Get there first with ATP.