‘AN UNFATHOMABLE NUMBER’
AIRLINES RAISE PAY, HIRE AT UNPRECEDENTED PACE
Pilot career counselor, aviation expert witness, and aviation consultant Kit Darby and Chief Advisor and Executive Editor at Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA) Tim Genc share their take on the unprecedented airline pilot pay hikes, hiring, and the consequences the current job market has on regional airlines and smaller operators.
Darby’s analysis of new pilot contracts implemented in recent years revealed a 546 percent jump in starting pay for regional airline pilots over the last 23 years from $16,000 per year in 2000 to $108,000 in 2023. In addition to higher pay, some regionals are offering signing and continuation bonuses as well as training contracts. These incentives have translated into more applicants, but according to Darby, these incentives are unlikely to fix the pilot shortage at the regional level.