Which Airline Will Have the Highest Pilot Pay in 2018?

We have been following most trends involving the airlines in the United States for years, and there has recently been very good news on the pilot pay issue. Airlines have been raising wages and improving workplace rules that allow for a much-improved quality of life for pilots. So just what can airline captains plan to earn in 2018? With the global airline industry flourishing with net profits exceeding $31 billion, pilots can expect to earn more than they used to according to an article at Airline Pilot Central.

We will start with the Legacy Airlines:

United Airlines’ two-year pay extension to the United Pilot Agreement continues to keep them at the top of our list. American Airlines is ranked second-highest once again this year, with salaries expected to increase once again by three percent on the first of next year. Delta Air Lines also experienced a positive change, with average pay increasing thanks to the new labor contract that was ratified last year. Hawaiian Airlines finally ratified a new labor contract this year, with raises ranging between 36 and 86 percent.

All listed pay is hourly –

Airline Lowest Pay Highest Pay Average Pay
United Airlines $232 $328 $272.41
American Airlines $156 $323 $269.02
Delta Airlines $156 $330 $256.85
Alaska Airlines $184 $216 $196.67
Hawaiian Airlines $170 $207 $194

Major Airlines:

Southwest Airlines, considered one of the largest domestic airlines based on traffic, is at the top of our list. JetBlue Airways has once again secured the second position on our list. It appears that JetBlue’s plan to increase profits by adding more seats to A321’s has paid off. Holding the third position, Allegiant Air continues to be in the top portion of our list, due to the union contract that was ratified last year. Frontier Airlines experienced a $5 increase in pay on average. Frontier plans to increase domestic reach to 90% by April of next year.

Airline Lowest Pay Highest Pay Average Pay
Southwest Airlines $227 $258 $242.58
JetBlue Airways $142 $219 $194.83
Allegiant Air $156 $222 $191
Virgin America $160 $189 $176.17
Spirit Airlines $102 $185 $149.85
Frontier Airlines $119 $167 145.79
Sun Country Airlines $103 $169 134.71

All of these airlines are hiring pilots from the regional airlines in the US mainly (some come from military backgrounds). Those regional airlines are hiring new pilots to meet the increased demand but are having a tough time retaining pilots for more than a few years before they are hired by larger airlines.

The hiring across all levels of the airline business means that if you start training now for a career flying for the airlines, you can be seated in the cockpit in less than two years.
The airlines have increased starting pay for new pilots greatly over the last few years, and now offer huge incentives to come fly for them.

The safest, surest and quickest path to an airline career begins at ATP. Arrange for an Introductory Flight today at one of ATP’s training centers and begin your own path to the airlines.