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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hiring for pilots: another sign of shortages

I was looking through Airline Pilot Careers magazine, published by Air Inc. and saw the ad for AirNet with the pilot recruitment number. I wondered what the state of that end of the industry was. More on that in a moment.

When I was just trying to get to the next step on the rung, they wanted something like 1000 total time to get going in their SIC program. It was a place I wanted to work and would have if I thought the logistical problem of commuting and where I'd be commuting to had been surmountable. Plus managing your schedule for quality of life seemed like it was a sort of 'take it or leave it' prospect vs. the regional airlines where you have at least *some* control to begin with.

At any rate, back in 2005, we were still at the very beginning of what is becoming or has become a pilot shortage at the lower ends of the ladder. Mesa is having trouble staffing (deservedly) and even the better regionals have had to cancel a few flights due to lack of pilots.

You can argue about the shortage one way or the other but at least at AirNet (one of the best part 135 carriers in my opinion) the tone has COMPLETELY changed.

Then, you were lucky to get on with the SIC program, which was really just learning and timebuilding at the company's expense. Again, a great opportunity at a good company.

Now, the voicemail is a sales job asking what kind of pilot you want to be, the leadership opportunity at AirNet, how good their company is, etc.

All of that is true and I imagine now as then that it's a fine place to work, but the pendulum appears to have fully swung from picking and choosing among pilots to selling pilots on the company. That probably wouldn't be necessary if the need wasn't strong.

If you want to hear it, it's 877-247-6386 and pick hiring info.

Interesting times indeed.

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