SkyWest Upgrade Times -- setting the record straight

propjockey

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SkyWest Upgrade Times

Friends, I have seen post after post on this board talking about how "average upgrade time at SkyWest is currently around 1.5 to 2 years." I wish to set the record straight. This is simply not true!

What is true is that a FEW lucky people at SkyWest have managed to upgrade with hire dates less than two years from today (Sept 26, 2005). I just counted on the seniority list only 20 captains (that's 9/10 of 1% of the seniority list) who fit this profile. Those who have managed this feat have been:
  • Not seatlocked at a time when a number of more senior people were, and hence were allowed to upgrade before them (i.e. in the right place at the right time)
  • Upgraded at a time when there was unprecedented growth at SkyWest
  • Willing to put up with eternal reserve, a lot commuting to ORD
While I can't put a number on it without more analysis than I care to do, I'd say the "average" upgrade time at SkyWest is considerably longer than 2 years. And the day this growth stops, we're going to have upgrade times like Horizon.

Now I don't want to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but some of you need to put down the crack pipe, take off those rose-colored glasses, and realize that less-than-two-year upgrades at SkyWest are more aberration than norm. I think anyone that is hired today who thinks he's going to upgrade at SkyWest two years from today is delusional.
 
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79%N1

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While I can't put a number on it without more analysis than I care to do, I'd say the "average" upgrade time at SkyWest is considerably longer than 2 years. And the day this growth stops, we're going to have upgrade times like Horizon.

Now I don't want to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but some of you need to put down the crack pipe, take off those rose-colored glasses, and realize that less-than-two-year upgrades at SkyWest are more aberration than norm. I think anyone that is hired today who thinks he's going to upgrade at SkyWest two years from today is delusional.[/QUOTE]

Like ASA now!!!
 

bruddahgoose

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propjockey said:
Friends, I have seen post after post on this board talking about how "average upgrade time at SkyWest is currently around 1.5 to 2 years." I wish to set the record straight. This is simply not true!
Thanks for your post! Now I can sleep better at night!
 

viper548

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I saw someone got EMB CA in SLC in the 1500 seniority number range. That's about 18 months with the company. You're right, average upgrade is more than 2 years for those not willing to commute to reserve.
 

propjockey

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But my point is that it's exceptionally rare -- not the norm, as many people are advertising. Just glancing at the standing bid list for SLC EMB Capt, there are 12 seatlocked people on the list that are senior to any 1500 numbers, and one who isn't seatlocked, but has an "award after new year" stipulation on the bid. With these seatocks on people, this award goes beyond just being "willing to commute to reserve."
 

viper548

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Another thing to consider is over the past year, they've hired a lot of pilots that are near the min hiring time. A pilot that gets hired with low flight time then sits reserve for the first couple months, the pilot won't have the 2500 TT to upgrade at 1.5-2 years
 

capt. megadeth

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What about if you were hired in March '05 and want to be in ORD?????
 

viper548

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Should be around 1.5-2 years if you'll take reserve.
 

Bluto

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Viper, keep in mind, past performance is not always a good indication of future returns. Upgrade could be that low in ORD, but it's really dependent on continuing growth within the company as a whole. If we get a new codeshare and some new domiciles, it could well be lower than that. Stagnant growth and no new airplanes and it could be significantly longer.
 

SkyWestCRJPilot

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When I got hired 5 years ago RJ upgrade was at 3 years. EMB upgrade at 2 years. Then a year later it went as low as 2 years for the RJ. Then when it was my turn the earliest I could have upgraded on the EMB was 2 years 4 months. For me the earliest for the RJ was 3 years 8 months. Occasionally it's dropped low but for me it was longer than what you keep hearing out there and what I kept hearing the whole time. Like Bluto said, what is happening right now is no indicator of the future, whether it be better or worse.
 

viper548

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Bluto said:
Viper, keep in mind, past performance is not always a good indication of future returns. Upgrade could be that low in ORD, but it's really dependent on continuing growth within the company as a whole. If we get a new codeshare and some new domiciles, it could well be lower than that. Stagnant growth and no new airplanes and it could be significantly longer.
yeah, i wouldn't tell 1.5-2 years to someone hired today. I think a 3/05 newhire will be able to make ORD CRJ CA in 2 years. There has been a lot of hiring done after 3/05 and the latest i've heard is 150 more this year. ORD is growing rapidly and not that many people want to be based there. There are a lot of FOs that hold out for their domicile of choice before upgrading. I don't expect our current rate of expansion to continue forever.
However, like you said, past performance does not equate to future returns.
 

threegreen

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It's all a crapshoot anyway. I think if you want to fly for a regional, go to a company you think you'll like... good bases, pay (relatively), schedules over upgrade time. Because by the time a newhire with a date of 9/27/05 upgrades everything will have changed.
 

viper548

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Unless you get hired at Mesa. They have high attrition rates
 

Socalplt

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I've been here 5 1/2 years and when I started EMB upgrades were under a year and a half. My first chance at EMB upgrade didn't come until 30 months and RJ at 33 months. I pulled out my bid for the RJ class at 33 months and my next opportunity didn't come until 45 months. I could have held EMB captain, but preferred life as a senior RJ FO. Guys that had started just 3-6 months before me had been captains for years, conversely people that started 6 months after waited even longer unless they went to IAH.

Even with 5 1/2 years with the company I can't hold any of the CA domiciles, and I'm barely off reserve in SLC. With the DL cutbacks in SLC and the rumored loss of 40 flights a day in December I'll be looking at reserve again or moving east.

SkyWest is returning 10 RJ's back to Delta and planned UA deliveries stop in February. Captain attrition is at 63 so far this year. Unless we announce some more delieveries I'd imagine upgrade will grind to a halt, with the occasional class for attrition. Who knows we could announce an order for a bunch of 900's next month. FWIW I think the last RJ class had the junior upgrade at about 2 1/2 - 3 years.

SkyWest currently has around 2180 pilots with 1100 of those First Officers. Out of those 1100, 338 have upgrade bids in for RJ captain and 111 for EMB captain. There are currrnetly 190+ pilots willing to take ORD for the upgrade or transition.
 
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DelphinDriver

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What are the junior seniority domiciles for new hire FO's?
 

viper548

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ORD, DEN, SLC, COS, FAT, TUS. Depending on senority within your class, you could get any of those initially or get transfered within a few months
 
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