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Rookie Question

Detroitpilot22

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I am just going to be starting my regional career soon and I was wondering if anyone here could tell me what is going to happen in 5-10 years in this industry. I hear a lot of talk about some massive hiring that will take place in 2007, but with so many pilots on furlough, its hard to believe. Will airlines like United, NWA, and American, finally start calling back pilots and hiring then, or will this take a lot longer than expected. Im a rookie in the business, and im just looking for some info.
 

Fly-n-hi

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No one has a crystal ball so any comments about the future are pure speculation.

I will say, based on the history of the industry, that the industry is cyclic. It has its bad times, followed by its good times, followed by its bad times, etc...

The new variable is terrorism in the form of airliner cruise missles. The next event may be shoulder fired missles. Or nothing may happen. Who knows?

How long will it be before Airline XYZ begins to recall its furloughed pilots? When they do recall how long will it be before they are all recalled? No one knows.

If this is the career that you would like to have then go for it and understand that nothing is set in stone. Every pilot job is a risk...at United, American, Southwest, everywhere.
 

HalinTexas

昇る太陽の土&#
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Anyone that tells you they know what's going to happen is trying to sell you something. Only believe half of what you hear.
 

Draginass

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Go ahead, but realize that regional industry standards are the future. The days of a "major" airline prestige, pay, and retirement are gone. Plenty of pilots willing to work for $30k a year flying 100 seat and larger airplanes. If you were offered a right seat in a 757, would you take it for $30k a year? Enjoy that blue collar job. Don't forget post again in a few years complaining about your pay.
 

chase

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Chicagopilot22,

There is no doubt that the industry is going through sesmic shifts that as some have said already will forever change the industry. For some the fact these changes are going to/have occurred is enough to make them re-think why they got into this business many years ago. You are at the point they (I started later in my life) were at many years ago. Never having been a regional pilot I can't begin to fully understand the struggles & issues you will face......however, if you really enjoy flying & wish to put up with frustrations in order to do something you really enjoy (fly airplanes) then I would say your future is bright in terms of doing something you really like & enjoy....something most American workers can't say.

As others have said this industry is cyclical....regionals are hiring now & that is good for those starting out.....growth at LCC, cargo carriers will continue over the next few years (assuming no major hiccups)....traditional legacy carriers will sort themselves out & have retirements that may or may not generate new positions....too difficult to tell in all honesty but if they don't succeed there will be other carriers (startups) that will fill the void (probably at lower pay)....the legacy carriers have already undergone pay reductions....more could occur & will put more pressure on LCCS....again all of this is talking about pay....if that is your number one concern then choosing a different carrier might be in order but even considering what LCC pilots make their pay scales are in the upper 5% of most US workers, not too bad when one thinks about it. Where will they be in 10 years? Hard to tell but certainly this downward pressure at the legacy/LCC level will have impacts at the regional areas....adjust your life style now to those facts & enjoy doing something you really enjoy.

Don't think any of the above was too insightful but maybe there is something for you to chew on.....good luck in your pursuit & get your PIC time as quickly as possible & apply at SWA!!!!
 

SirFlyALot

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The airlines are not the place to be. Do yourself and your family a favor; avoid the airlines. You will save everyone you're close to a lot of heartache and stress.

Agree with everything said above about trying to predict the future being pure sepculation. However, what I see happening as the prevailing trend is a continued push to trim costs and attain a competitive advantage. This means that airlines will likely continue to undercut each other. No U.S. airline will be able to pay pilots the salaries we all grew up knowing that airline pilots are supposed to make. Couple that with the fact that there are hordes of willing young aspirants out there who will accept sub-$50K per year jobs and you have a setup for a continued erosion in pilot pay and benefits. Competitive pressures will also, in my estimation, not allow any airline to become a dominant player for any sustained period of time. On the contrary, I think we will see airlines rise and fall in relatively quick order. Bankruptcies will be fairly common and your job security will be next-to-nil.

Good luck.
 

Wasted

u can do it too w kandoo
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In all probability, within the next 5-10 years, a 5-10km wide near earth object will intersect the orbit of this planet and impact one of the oceans, vaporizing large amounts of water and rock, ending most forms of life on this planet, thereby making the future of the regional airline industry moot.
 

Ty Webb

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SirFlyALot said:
The airlines are not the place to be. Do yourself and your family a favor; avoid the airlines.
.

No generalization is worth a damn, especially this one (with apologies to Mark Twain).

I have been very happy at AirTran. I guess it is all in what you want. I have a short on-line commute, a decent schedule, and after 3 years and change, was making $10K a month (near the bottom of the pay scale). Sure, it's not flying wide-bodies across the pond with catered meals, but I am making a decent living, and with a new contract in play, I expect to make improvements moving forward.

Would I like to see a return to the glory days of airline flying? Sure, who wouldn't? Am I going to turn my back on what I have because it's not the same as it was in the 1960's? Of course not. Is there a point where it wouldn't be worth doing it? Absolutely . . . . but that isn't on the table right now.

Keep your ear to the ground, and your irons in the fire (both in and out of aviation). . . .
 

SirFlyALot

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It's great that Ty Webb is happy at the moment with his lot in the airline life. It's good. This present moment in time just happens to be a point where his airline is doing okay. I think Ty has been there something like three or four years. Great. Three or four years is not even close to a career. What happens five or ten years from now when his airline (AirTran) has a few rocky years and ends up furloughing, cutting pay and benefits, and eventually liquidating? What happens when some other airline comes along and buys his airline out? Even benign events can significantly impact your quality of life: what happens when AirTran decides to cut service to his city and his nice little on-line commute becomes a big, painful off-line commute? Of course, none of these questions are a dig on AirTran or Ty Webb specifically because they really can be asked of almost any airline and any pilot.
 

FurloughedAgain

Cabin Heating & Air Tech.
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I believe that PilotYip's signature says the following:

"Fly because you love it, because if you're in it for the money you will be dissapointed."


As much as I hate to admit it, he's right. There was a time when an aviator's skills were valuable and highly sought after. As a result pilots were well compensated.

Those days are gone. Today airline managers are well aware that there is virtually no limit to how little a pilot will be willing to work for.

They have mastered the art of the whipsaw, forcing each pilot group to fight one another. Regionals compete with legacies. Regionals compete with other regionals. Airlines rise and fall. Careers are destroyed and yet flight schools and Kit Darby preach "pilot shortage" and still speak of vast compensation and retirement. Those, unfortunately, are nothing more than recent history.

Today -- and, I believe in the future -- there is no such thing as a flying "career", but only rather a flying "job". Furloughs, bankruptcies, etc. are unlikely to stop as oil prices continue to rise. We will become an association of 10,000+ hour newhires... continuously starting over.

No airline is immune. Even the a powerhouse such as Southwest will face the invisible hand of the economy before long. They are now the highest paid 737 pilots in the western hemisphere. I can't imagine it staying that way indefinately.

So, as much as I hate to admit it, I think Pilotyip is right. Fly because you love it. Pay yourself first each month. Save as much money as you can and, if possible, learn another trade.

Learn from the mistakes of those who came before you and, most importantly, when the cockpit door closes... leave all of this stress on the ramp.
 

capt. megadeth

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Very well said.

FurloughedAgain said:
I believe that PilotYip's signature says the following:

"Fly because you love it, because if you're in it for the money you will be dissapointed."

As much as I hate to admit it, he's right. There was a time when an aviator's skills were valuable and highly sought after. As a result pilots were well compensated.

Those days are gone. Today airline managers are well aware that there is virtually no limit to how little a pilot will be willing to work for.

They have mastered the art of the whipsaw, forcing each pilot group to fight one another. Regionals compete with legacies. Regionals compete with other regionals. Airlines rise and fall. Careers are destroyed and yet flight schools and Kit Darby preach "pilot shortage" and still speak of vast compensation and retirement. Those, unfortunately, are nothing more than recent history.

Today -- and, I believe in the future -- there is no such thing as a flying "career", but only rather a flying "job". Furloughs, bankruptcies, etc. are unlikely to stop as oil prices continue to rise. We will become an association of 10,000+ hour newhires... continuously starting over.

No airline is immune. Even the a powerhouse such as Southwest will face the invisible hand of the economy before long. They are now the highest paid 737 pilots in the western hemisphere. I can't imagine it staying that way indefinately.

So, as much as I hate to admit it, I think Pilotyip is right. Fly because you love it. Pay yourself first each month. Save as much money as you can and, if possible, learn another trade.

Learn from the mistakes of those who came before you and, most importantly, when the cockpit door closes... leave all of this stress on the ramp.
 

B6Busdriver

pushbutton pusher
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The only sure bet for the next five to ten years:
Furloughs
Hiring
Hiring freezes
More furloughs
a few bankruptcies
and a couple of acquisitions
Hiring....................
I hate to sound sarcastic but that's the way it's been and most likely will be. Go to the library and checkout Hard Landings.
 

Ty Webb

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SirFlyALot said:
What happens five or ten years from now when his airline (AirTran) has a few rocky years and ends up furloughing, cutting pay and benefits, and eventually liquidating? What happens when some other airline comes along and buys his airline out? .
What happens if you get hit by a bus crossing the street? What happens is a pelican takes a dump on your new convertible with the top down . . . .

Face it . . . life is about risk. Manage the risk. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, do what you want to do. If my airline gig ended tomorrow, I have made sure I have other options to fall back on.

If you want to fly for an airline, then fly for an airline. Or, you can be like SirFlysaLot, who apparently spends time on an airline message board, telling peole to avoid airline employment- WTFO?

Pray tell, SFA, what sort of employment do you have at present, and what are your future aspirations?
 

Mr Hat

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I tell my new FO's this. This job can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. If your anal, whine alot and consistantly compare your airline to the top paying airline, your career is going to suck. Relax, have a Coke and some pretzels. You still have one of the best jobs out there.......regional or not.
 

CapnVegetto

The Prince of all Saiyans
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Have you considered a career in corporate aviation? Look into it.
 

Jetjockey

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Read Flying the Line I, and II. Change the airline names to the flavor of the year (i.e, AirTran, Jetblue) wait five to 10 years, repeat as nescessary. This industry is so cyclical you can almost set a watch to it. The idea is it to hit the wave at the low point, then ride it to the high point. Prepare professionally (side career), and financially (live below your means) for the next downturn. Today's not so desirable carriers may become tommorow's next "place to be".
 
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