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Active member
Jun 20, 2004
I've been reading posts and researching the pay and QOL of both regional airlines and fractionals. My question is, what made you choose the regional path over becoming a pilot for a fractional company like Net Jets? The pay at NJ's is way above what regional pilots could ever make with today's current pay scales at ExpressJet, the highest paid regional, and what NJ's and other companies are paying their pilots. From what I've read, the QOL of life is pretty good at fractionals, the companies put them up in nice hotels, they fly to hundreds more destinations than the airlines, the company feeds them while they're flying so their per diem is just added compensation, and they only work half the year with the 7 days on/ 7 days off schedule. Just curious, but what are the benefits to flying for a regional over being a frac. pilot? Thanks for everyone's input before hand.
Well the minimum hiring requirements for the regionals are a lot less stringent than those frac operations. Some pilots start there to build up the experience and then move on to the corporate/charter side of professional flying.
Until a month ago the pay at NetJets was piss poor. Their travel benefits do not compare to airline pilots. Many regional pilots also only work half the year, but they don't have to be on the road away from their family for a week at a time. Don't get me wrong, a good job with a fractional would be nice, but there are advantages to going to a regional. Also, most regionals will hire pilots with half the time of the fractionals, so people go there to build time to qualify for a fractional or corporate job. ExpressJet's pay scales are decent, but Horizon and Comair (for now) have higher pay scales.
I'm not sure what kind of time the fractionals or regionals require, but I'm pretty sure you will build more time in the regionals. If flying for a major is your goal, then the regionals are a good resume builder. The only difference between regional flying and majors is the pay. Good luck making you choice.
You make it sound so simple. but its a bit more complicated than that. The pay rates that you see now posted for netjets is brand new. they just finished their contract recently. Before that, i think it was comparable to the regionals, if not less. the 7 days that you are on, they work you like a dog from what i hear. As the co-pilot/First Officer you only fly the empty legs, not when they are carrying pax( also hearsay). and finally the their mins are 2500 where expressjet is 600tt. At the airlines there is potential to make more. you can jumpseat as well as pass privileges for your family. I am not saying the airlines are better, but just giving you another perspective. there is a lot more than just what is written on paper.
TinGoose1 said:
The only difference between regional flying and majors is the pay.

You're kidding, right?
No I wasn't kidding. With the RJs getting larger, the only real difference is pay. I agree that if you're in a turbo-prop it may be different, but not by much. I don't know if you fly for a major or a regional, but the airline life is the same everywhere. Dispatch doesn't know where you are, the training dept will change your procedures about once every 5 months, crew scheduling hates crew members, and the list goes on. All I was saying is that regional flying is good preperation for flying at larger carriers. I know that might not be the reality right now for most of you, but the industry will get better. Someday.
TinGoose1 said:
No I wasn't kidding. With the RJs getting larger, the only real difference is pay.

I disagree. I've got friends at Southwest and their QOL, schedule flexibility, productivity, work rules, commuter policy, hotels, beverage discount, etc. etc. is far different than any regional. I don't know much about JetBlue but their pilots who have come from the regionals seem to like the lifestyle better than their old jobs.

Bankrupt legacy carriers are a different story but for the most part they won't be hiring for quite some time.

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