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Mainline airline pilot hiring to increase

av8tordude23

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http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mainline-airline-pilot-hiring-to-increase-375640/

Mainline airline pilot hiring to increase

By: Edward Russell Washington DC
10:21 20 Aug 2012
Source:

Mainline carriers in the USA are expected to increase their pilot hiring during the second half, even as some plan capacity cuts.
Delta Air Lines, which plans to cut capacity by about 1% this year compared to 2011, is understood to need additional crews to replace retirees and to fly 88 Boeing 717-200s they will receive from Southwest Airlines beginning in 2013, according to sources.
Alaska Airlines and US Airways, which are the only two mainline carriers that will increase capacity this year, plan to hire pilots for their 2013 flying needs, say the airlines. They anticipate that capacity will increase by 6% and 2%, respectively, this year.
American Airlines and United Airlines have yet to disclose any potential hiring this year, though this is not unexpected as both carriers are likely to shrink capacity. American has not released guidance but United plans to cut capacity by between 0.5% and 1.5% this year compared to 2011.
Mainline carriers largely curtailed pilot hiring following the credit crunch in 2008 as they cut schedules and parked aircraft. There have been some new openings since but, by and large, the airlines have mostly drawn on their past furloughs to fill the ranks during the interim.
"Industry-wide, hiring needs are a function of projected retirement and contract productivity trends," says Robert Mann, an airline industry analyst at RW Mann & Company. That is exactly what is happening - a large number of pilots are beginning to come up against the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) mandatory retirement age of 65, and new labour contracts are either being negotiated or implemented at American, Delta and United.
Delta completed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with its pilots in June where it agreed to lease the 717s in exchange for more large regional jets and fewer 50-seat jets at its regional partners. The new aircraft coupled with retirements could prompt pilot hiring to begin in the fourth quarter though the number of positions is not yet clear, say sources.
New hires would begin as a first officer on the 717 or the DC-9, according to the Atlanta-based carrier's contract with its pilots.
Delta says that it has not announced any new hiring for 2012. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Delta master executive council declines to comment.
The airline has not hired pilots since 2010, according to reports.
Alaska has 34 pilot positions out of 78 it still needs to fill this year and about 118 next year, says Will McQuillen, membership committee chairman for ALPA's Alaska master executive council and a first officer at the carrier. He says that the airline has continued to hire during the past few years with the incoming pilots this year coming from applications that it received in 2011.
New hires would start as first officers on the Boeing 737 and would likely be based in Anchorage or Los Angeles, which are the carrier's most junior pilot domiciles, says McQuillen.
Alaska confirms ALPA's numbers.
US Airways plans to hire additional pilots this year for 2013, says the Tempe, Arizona-based airline. It attributes the need to an increased number of retirements due to the FAA's mandatory retirement age.
The carrier did not specify a number.
US Airways ran two classes of new first officers for the Embraer 190 in July, which were drawn from applications that were received in 2011, it says. The majority of E190 operations are from the carrier's Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington National hubs.
The US Airline Pilots Association, which represents US Airways' pilots, did not respond to repeated queries by press time.
American outlined plans to furlough up to 400 pilots as part of its request to reject its pilots contract in bankruptcy court in April. It had 3,074 pilots on furlough out of 10,738 on its seniority list as of 1 February, according to court documents.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has not hired pilots since 1998, it says.
United says that it is not currently recalling furloughed pilots or hiring. It would not provide a timeline for future openings.
The Chicago-based airline must recall the 1,435 pilots that it has on furlough before it can begin hiring fresh faces, says the ALPA United master executive council. "[We] hope they come back as soon as possible," says the union.
United last recalled between 100 and 200 pilots for its Continental subsidiary during the second half of 2011, according to an employee newsletter.
Boeing estimates that airlines in North America need 69,000 new pilots by 2031, in its latest long-term market outlook released in July.
 

pilotyip

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All part of the 2012 hiring boom coming soon to an airline near you. After about 18 months when all the slack has been picked up in the current pilot surplus, the airlines will redefine competitive minimums. The possession of TJ PIC will be the breakfast of champions. The college degree will become "a preferred" instead of show stopper at almost every airline. Oh! to be coming out of the Navy at 33 again and coming into this market.
 

Lear70

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It's not going to happen in 2012, this year is almost over...

It's going to happen closer to late-2013 and into 2014, and it'll be 3-5 years before they lower their "preferred" minimums any, at the earliest, thanks to the last 10 years of hardly a trickle leaving the Regionals.

You should look at the attrition numbers for age 65. They're only 300 or so a year at most carriers starting next year and don't pick up to the high 600-650 per year range for about 5 years, around 2018, then stay that way for a while.
 

pilotyip

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It's not going to happen in 2012, this year is almost over...

It's going to happen closer to late-2013 and into 2014, and it'll be 3-5 years before they lower their "preferred" minimums any, at the earliest, thanks to the last 10 years of hardly a trickle leaving the Regionals.

You should look at the attrition numbers for age 65. They're only 300 or so a year at most carriers starting next year and don't pick up to the high 600-650 per year range for about 5 years, around 2018, then stay that way for a while.
That may be true but we are going to see an increase in the hire rate before the end of this year. DAL calling for a pilot a day for the next 20 years, all the other legacy airlines face the same situation. So take the 300 a year and multiply by what 6 or 8 to reflect the complete industry. We are already seeing a drop off in applications here on the lower end, because there are more other jobs out there. Therefore the 2012 hiring has started, although somewhat dampened by the slow economy.
 

CRJ puppy

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That may be true but we are going to see an increase in the hire rate before the end of this year. DAL calling for a pilot a day for the next 20 years, all the other legacy airlines face the same situation. So take the 300 a year and multiply by what 6 or 8 to reflect the complete industry. We are already seeing a drop off in applications here on the lower end, because there are more other jobs out there. Therefore the 2012 hiring has started, although somewhat dampened by the slow economy.


"welcome to fantasy island"!!
 

SIG600

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Yip has been predicting the "boom" since 2001. IIRC his predictions were 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010 and now 2012.

Battin' average ain't so hot there yip. It's not going to happen, the only shortage will be guys willing to fly an RJ for $20/hour.
 

Mr Hat

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Well in 2001 it WAS a few years off......the the FAA and ALPA put us in a 5 year holding pattern.
 

pilotyip

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Yip has been predicting the "boom" since 2001. IIRC his predictions were 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010 and now 2012.

Battin' average ain't so hot there yip. It's not going to happen, the only shortage will be guys willing to fly an RJ for $20/hour.
Never predicted 2003 or 2010, please post to link to correct me, I could be mistaken. I may have predcited in 2003 that a hiring boom would be coming in 2006, and did have a real one in 2007/08. Alos in 2010 I predicted the coming age 65 retirement hiring bomm. Which we do see starting this month. As per Avbug never be a shortage, just a redefiniton of competitive minimums, bye bye college dgree.
 

pilotyip

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Que Kit Darby!
Wish there had been a Kit Darby when I got out of the Navy in 1977, face to face time with a recruiter would have been a good thing.
 

livin'thesim

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I agree about the regionals. I don't expect the majors to be lacking qualified applicants.

I do think it will be hard to get people for the regionals. Especially since the 1500 hour rule will be in effect and the new flight/duty rules will make regionals much less efficient than before.

Many regionals will probably have a revolving door in training, which will lead to unsustainable costs, and probably safety issues as well.
 

ASA_Aviator

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^^^^ THIS ^^^^

Anything else is a pipe dream.

The competitive mins will change, and the majors will have to compete for the best applicants, but there won't be an actual shortage of applicants meeting the min requirements.

If you define "shortage" as literally no one qualified to apply to a major, then yes you are correct that will never happen.

Most rational people define "shortage" as the landscape of pilot recruitment shifting in favor of the applicant. That, without question, is going to happen. The majors already know this, and are preparing for it.
 

DCMartin

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There are over 20,000 regional pilots, plus many cargo, military and corporate who are ready to move on. If AA's scope reaches 88 seats and UCAL doesn't hold the line where it's at then expect less jobs on the major level. When any Career airline opens its doors expect 10,000+ qualified resumes. I don't expect to see any noticeable movement till 2017 assuming age 67 isn't passed by then.
 

livin'thesim

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What is unknown is the future size of the regional fleets. It is possible that if substantial shifts in the economy occur in tandem with persistently high fuel prices, it is conceivable that regional flying will decrease overall, or be consolidated into fewer carriers, meaning that the so-called shortage will be nothing more than what I would call "brisk hiring".

If regional flying stays relatively similar, the demand at the regional level, ESPECIALLY in light of the huge flight/duty change could pose problems.

Do the math on a typical regional pilot's number of legs and duty start time, and you can see that regional flying may become non-viable in some cases.

Raises will be required at regionals just to compensate for the reduced number of flight hours that pilots will be able to complete. Add in the brisk hiring at the majors and regionals could have turnover rates too high to justify.

The 1500 hour rule is an additional complication for the regionals while we wait for the training pipeline to spool up again.
 

labbats

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I think the internet created this pilot vacuum. The knowledge of what awaits an aspiring pilot is enough to turn most away. Knowledge is power and it's finally coming home to roost.

Bear in mind that I'm in agreement with everyone else when it comes to the majors. Maybe in 15-20 years there will be a shortage, but who knows what technology will be around then. For all we know all cargo flying could be done with UAVs. Then all the cargo pilots are vying for a job at the majors. It never ends.
 

flyboyike

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Mainline hiring has been "increasing" since before my first solo. The only thing that HAS increased is retirement age, 'cause that's just and fair.
 

pilotyip

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The competitive mins will change, and the majors will have to compete for the best applicants, but there won't be an actual shortage of applicants meeting the min requirements.

If you define "shortage" as literally no one qualified to apply to a major, then yes you are correct that will never happen.

Most rational people define "shortage" as the landscape of pilot recruitment shifting in favor of the applicant. That, without question, is going to happen. The majors already know this, and are preparing for it.
Very well put, the increase in hiring will shift the process to more of a sellers markets than the buyer market we have today. I saw guys get hired a UAL, NWA without college degrees back in the late 90's.
 
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