The airlines are contracting. I know almost everyone on this board aspires to the left seat of a 747-400 making 275k. however we are now in the worst aviation recession in history. the growth in aviation will be with the business traveler in years to come. besides a Citation X is just as sophisticated as any regional jet or large jet.
I think you could write a book about airlines/fractionals....there probably is one out there already.
Airlines try to fill as many seats as possible. If they fill enough, they can make a profit. The business class used to be a large profit center for airlines, but with the birth of fractionals, the airlines are losing more and more business seats everyday.
Fractionals try to fraction out the cost of airplane ownership to many companies (or individuals) to make private air travel cost effective if not cheaper than buying a ticket. The cost curve is really only realized by the larger flight deptartments if they switch from all airline travel (plus better point to point time now) or the smaller flight deptartments that once owned a plane or two, but didn't utilize the aircraft enough to balance the cost of ownership.
The pro's and con's of each are widely varied as are their business plans. In a way, it is apples to oranges as far as business goes. I haven't answered your question as I'm not sure where to start. Are you asking based on a business basis or as a pilot? Pro's and Con's to work for or to participate in?
If the question is directed as to which to fly for, you will probably get a ton of info from pilots flying both types. Might even start a hot debate as to which is better. I will answer that question before it comes to a head. It all matters who your asking and who they fly for. Both have good attributes and bad.
Let's not over hype the aviation "recession". True there has been a big downturn in hiring, but look at the unprecedented growth and hiring that predated it. Now, is this all due to the stock market and 9/11, or is it poor planning and management from the airlines? The fractionals are still hiring (although not as strong) because they are still young and growing. They need to be careful as well. Growth is fine if the future can support it and it is managed properly. I think you will see the effects of different segments of the aviation industry (airlines vs fractionals) become more dependant on each other. We all have to be insured and we all burn fuel. The truth is the current recession could have been worse. Ask any airline pilot that has held the line for 15 yrs or more. We have had a mild recession, small fluctuations in fuel (i.e. no embargo) and most of the layoffs have been in the new hire (1-2 yr) pools. Some airline wanabes may have missed their opportunity this time, but maybe the hype from airline employment services (AEPS, Jet Jobs, etc) about the impending "Pilot shortage" and the airlines themselves lowering their minimums as low as 800/100 hrs in the past few years has created false hopes.
I disagree with Bigr that this is the worst in history. Probably the worst in his recent history. In the early 90's you had the Military paying people to get out. The airlines were furloughing and you had a great Airline (eastern) go out of business. Going out of business is a little tougher than getting furloughed. Well back then at least you could go to the 3 big frax players that were operating. Oh Yeah there weren't any big frax back then. Now you can base a point of view on the fact that the airlines are losing 2 zillion dollars a year. It might not make any difference in the long run but at least the Govt. is willing to be somewhat of a sugar daddy. The Govt. position 11 years ago was to give how much help to the Airlines? Zippo. Everything will turn around given enough time. But fewer and fewer guys are going to find themselves in the left seat of a 74 going to Paris. It will more likely be in the left seat of an RJ going to Ft. Wayne. Just my observation.
Aviation recession?.......heard SWA just posted a 1/2 billion dollar profit...I assume thats for the year.....didn't catch the full broadcast.
I know this is only one airline, but hard to say recession when even one company is reporting profits like this.....
Flip side is UAL....there is sure a wide range or profit margins (or the lack there of) in the industry right now...I would bet that when the economy comes back around (which it is right now) you are gonna see some big buy outs and take overs in the future.
In general terms and as far as Wall st goes, a recession is usually defined as 3 consecutive losing quarters. I don't follow AA or DAL stock, but I am sure they were making a profit before 911.
I guess aviation is in a recession depending on who you work for or who you talk to.
No way this is the worst aviation recession in history. The early ninties were far worse. Eastern, the original Pan Am and Midway all went under. America West, TWA, USAir, Continental were all in Chapter 11. The military was downsizing. So you had literally tens of thousands of experienced airline pilots and military pilots looking for work. You had to have 4000 hours TT just to think about being able to buy a job flying a Beech 1900 or J-31 for a regional. Most flight schools would only hire their own graduates back then and it was extremely tough. If there was an opening, and that was a big if, you would have 15-20 graduates fighting for the one job. The few schools that would hire out of house were looking for experienced instructors. It was hard to even get someone to talk to you unless you had 1000 hours dual given.
Yes it is bad now. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel, especially at the regionals. Southwest and Air Tran have been hiring. Comair, ASA, ACA, Skywest, Colgan, Commutair, Chicago Express and I think a few others have all been hiring. The fractionals have been hiring. So there is still some movement. Not like the early ninties which were completely stagnent.
I agree with NEDude and Squanto. I was trying to build a career in the late '80s-early '90s and that recession coupled with the Gulf War was horrendous. It indeed was stagnant. Plenty of qualfied pilots on the streets who were turned loose by Eastern, Braniff, Pan Am and Midway, and very little hiring. Virtually no commuter hiring. Coincidentally, you-know-what started up during those years.
I was lucky. Although I was only flight instructing and wanted better, I was able to work during most of early '90s while the more experienced pilots were sidelined. I was always hired from "outside." I did have good multi and dual given, as NEDude mentioned.
There was also a deep recession in the early '80s, and, the first Braniff failed then. It was the first deregulation victim and people really didn't know exactly what to make of it.
What is different today from the early nineties is there are air carriers who haven't folded and are doing well. Fractionals are hiring. So, indeed, this recession isn't as bad as were others.
One other point about career goals. Sure, people want to drive a 747 for the $275K. But there are some flying jobs that pay well and have less stress while offering good benies and plenty of days off. Corporate is one area. Dare I suggest flying for the government??