Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

pilot shortage, regional airlines, pilot pay, workforce development


Regional airlines facing pilot supply challenges have responded to the rapidly changing environment by increasing pay, adjusting lifestyle factors, and enhancing career pathway opportunities. The purpose of this research is to provide a current view of the status of airline hiring at regional airlines, given the changes in pay and other factors, and to explore the impact of increased pay on the airlines' ability to meet hiring goals. Data for analysis was collected through interviews of pilot recruiting personnel from the largest regional airlines. Results reveal that increased pay at regional airlines has positively impacted the carriers' ability to meet hiring goals for first officers. In addition, airlines have made efforts to improve pilot lifestyle and create opportunities for career pathways to the majors. While these efforts are currently allowing most interviewed airlines to meet hiring goals, concern remains that this may be a short-term fix. This research contributes to the discussion of the role of pay as it relates to pilot supply, provides a current snapshot of regional airline hiring, and presents discussion of the short term and long term issues related to the pilot supply.

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