Regional to Major

Does anyone know the approximate percentage of Regional airline pilots who receive a job offer at a major airline anytime during their career?
 

meyers9163

Well-Known Member
We all could speculate. However things change in a pilots career and at times goals change. The majors are not the goal of most regional pilots as it may have been years ago. A lot of guys are going to go for QOL issues more then the pursuit to fly heavy metal.
 

Lee D

Well-Known Member
Yeah that would be a hard piece of data to find. Some decide to stay put at the regionals. Others would like to go, but other than a short period over the last year or so, legacy hiring has been rather slim.
 

USMC-SSGT

Well-Known Member
And alot of regional guys dont want to go to a major....or stay at a regional and go elsewhere.
 
Yeah, I guess it depends on the person. I talked to an AA FO who was hired on in 1999 I believe and he seemed pretty mad he left Eagle. He claimed he would probably never make captain at American (48 years old) and he's going to have a terrible schedule for a long time. He spent about 25 minutes telling me not to enter the aviation industry.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Yeah - it really varies from person to person.

We each have a different "goal" or acceptable position in our professional life.

Some regional CAs never leave, some leave for a major, some leave for frac/corp/charter, and well . . . some get tired of the game and hang their hat to seek other career goals.
 

CaptBill

Well-Known Member
Of course I only talk with the guys that came over to a major but, almost all of them talk about their friends that decided to stay. The mindset of staying at a regional is much more prevalent than it was five or ten years ago. I think what happens is that most guys that have the opportunity to cross over are already captains at their respective airline. Most are making relatively comfortable pay and can't justify the cut in pay and giving up a nice schedule to start all over again. Living on a $50k or $60k regional budget and thinking about starting over at a major for $25k is tough to do. Of course the pay rates at a major will likely exceed regional pay at some point but each persons unique criteria will ultimately determine if it is worth making the move. Typically, the younger you are the better off you will be moving to a major when able. If your plans are to eventually leave for a major, learn to live on a budget at your regional that will make the transition possible and less painless. Also, saving just a little money each month will make a huge difference when considering your options.
 

Hootie

Old Skool
If I had to pull something out of my butt, id say 40%. And of those 40% about half go off to someplace and get furloughed, or on the street cause of bankruptcy and then get out of flying or go back to the regionals minus ten years seniority.
 

typhoonpilot

Well-Known Member
If I had to pull something out of my butt, id say 40%. And of those 40% about half go off to someplace and get furloughed, or on the street cause of bankruptcy and then get out of flying or go back to the regionals minus ten years seniority.

My figures would be dated since it was 1989 when I left a "commuter" to go to a "major", but back then it was easily 50%+. Nowadays with RJs and much better top end pay I can see more justification to stay at a "regional" airline.

That said, regional airlines don't last forever either. My "commuter" was WestAir which started Atlantic Coast. Those who went east for the start-up and stayed would have been there for Independence Air. We all know what happened to them.


Typhoonpilot
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
We've got some lifers at Pinnacle. Like was mentioned, it's hard to give up $75K a year and 17 days off to go back to $25K and reserve. The lifers I know all live in MEM, so unless Delta does something major, you can add a commute into that QoL hit as well. Some guys aren't lifers, but they'll only leave Pinnacle for FedEx. Might as well be lifers at that point the way FedEx's hiring is going.....
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
We've got some lifers at Pinnacle. Like was mentioned, it's hard to give up $75K a year and 17 days off to go back to $25K and reserve. The lifers I know all live in MEM, so unless Delta does something major, you can add a commute into that QoL hit as well. Some guys aren't lifers, but they'll only leave Pinnacle for FedEx. Might as well be lifers at that point the way FedEx's hiring is going.....
Heard some good news for me, could be over a year before any ATL base for the saab. MY QOL is safe for a bit :)
 
Top