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What Can New Pilots Make? Near Minimum Wage
WSJ via Yahoo Finance ^

Posted on 02/12/2014 6:54:34 AM PST by Red in Blue PA

A widening shortage of U.S. airline pilots is spotlighting the structure of an industry built on starting salaries for regional-airline pilots that are roughly equivalent to fast-food wages.

The shortage's toll rose Tuesday, as Republic Airways Holdings Inc., one of the nation's largest regional carriers, said it would remove 27 of its 243 aircraft from operation because it couldn't find enough qualified pilots. The news, which followed service disruptions at other airlines, sent Republic's shares down 4.1% to finish at $9.45.

Starting pilot salaries at 14 U.S. regional carriers average $22,400 a year, according to the largest U.S. pilots union. Some smaller carriers pay as little as $15,000 a year. The latter is about what a full-time worker would earn annually at the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage.

Regional carriers are a key link in the U.S. air-travel system. Big airlines, whose pilot salaries are much higher, outsource about half of their domestic flights to these smaller partners to save money.

(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...


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I was shocked to read this. Never would have guessed this in a million years.
1 posted on 02/12/2014 6:54:34 AM PST by Red in Blue PA
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To: Red in Blue PA
Starting pilot salaries at 14 U.S. regional carriers average $22,400 a year, according to the largest U.S. pilots union. Some smaller carriers pay as little as $15,000 a year. The latter is about what a full-time worker would earn annually at the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage.

That's crazy!! School bus drivers make more than that!

2 posted on 02/12/2014 6:56:40 AM PST by pgkdan
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To: Red in Blue PA

I don’t believe this ....the source is their union.


3 posted on 02/12/2014 6:57:26 AM PST by teg_76
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To: Red in Blue PA

As the US standard of living declines, the number of air miles for leisure likely will also. Doesn’t bode well for the industry.


4 posted on 02/12/2014 6:58:06 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: teg_76

The WSJ usually researches things like this before they go to print. I trust the WSJ.


5 posted on 02/12/2014 6:58:14 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.-Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Aside from the TSA issues I have one reason I stopped flying was the Vietnam era pilots all retired. The new guys aren’t really good at flying the plane as much as they are programming the autopilot.


6 posted on 02/12/2014 6:58:37 AM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: Red in Blue PA
...it couldn't find enough qualified pilots... willing to work for bus driver wages....................
7 posted on 02/12/2014 6:59:15 AM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: Resolute Conservative

The smaller, regional planes do not have that autopilot unless I am mistaken.


8 posted on 02/12/2014 6:59:28 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.-Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Yep won't it just give you a nice warm fuzzy when you walk onto a plane and see these guys are your pilots?

9 posted on 02/12/2014 7:00:14 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: teg_76

PEOPLE AREN’T FLYING! You can thank the TSA. I used to fly 3-4 times a year. Cross country flights were $99. Gasoline costs twice as much under the Great One. Business? Try videoconferencing. That one I’m ok with. Gov’ment is the turd in the punch bowl.


10 posted on 02/12/2014 7:02:10 AM PST by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

The truth of the argument on wages is not being taught to the American worker.

There are two points on the wage line that everyone must consider. Those two points are simply this:

- you will never be paid less than what you are willing to work for.
- you will never be paid more than what it costs to replace you.


11 posted on 02/12/2014 7:02:58 AM PST by taxcontrol
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To: Red in Blue PA
And of course the source is a union. Who give the worst viewpoint as they want to unionize those positions. Not that they want to help those people, they simply want them to have to give up part of their salary to the union and give more power to the union when it comes to strikes as those pilots as well would have to stop flying.

$22,000 average salary for an average of 10 hours of flying a week as co-pilot with an instructor pilot. It is literally on the job training, which all things considered, is a pretty good salary for that type of position. The regular pilots for regionals average far closer to $60,000. Which is the other group the unions really want to bleed for the money, as these are also the same qualified pilots who step up to the bat when the pilots union goes on strike.

Always the same song and dance - pick someone who might gain some sympathy from the public, imply that they are something more than what they are, with the end goal of giving more money and power to the union.

12 posted on 02/12/2014 7:04:33 AM PST by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

That has always been the case. Most pilots work 10-15 years before they make a decent living.


13 posted on 02/12/2014 7:06:38 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: Red in Blue PA

After decades of being too many pilots, there is a huge international demand for them.


14 posted on 02/12/2014 7:07:03 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

All these kids go into debt learning to fly in Florida. Then they get beginner jobs. It was always their dream to fly.


15 posted on 02/12/2014 7:07:50 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Red in Blue PA

Yes they do. The DeHavilland Dash-8 (37-seat twin turboprop) even has autoland.


16 posted on 02/12/2014 7:08:03 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: Resolute Conservative
The new guys aren’t really good at flying the plane as much as they are programming the autopilot.

That's true for European and Asian pilots. There are still better standards here in America.

17 posted on 02/12/2014 7:08:08 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: teg_76

Nothing as low as mentioned in the article but some pretty low numbers for some of the regionals.

https://www.aviationinterviews.com/pilot/airlinepayrates.html


18 posted on 02/12/2014 7:08:26 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

19 posted on 02/12/2014 7:09:00 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: FReepers

Click The Pic To Donate

Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

20 posted on 02/12/2014 7:10:18 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Red in Blue PA
The smaller, regional planes do not have that autopilot unless I am mistaken.

A lot of regional planes these days are jets and they have modern avionics including autopilot. Weekend pilots can get a portable inertial navigation unit with a virtual display for a couple of thousand dollars used. So even a Cessna 152 can have the capability that only the most expensive jets had a decade ago.

21 posted on 02/12/2014 7:12:03 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: teg_76
Unfortunately, it is the truth. When I completed my pilot lessons in 2001, I had a job offer to fly for ExpressJet (regional carrier for Continental). Starting pay - $22,500/yr. Needless to say, I gave up on my dreams of being a commercial pilot. A buddy of mine took a job as a regional pilot (United). Took him years before he made it to $60,000. To make the big money, you have to fly the big planes.
22 posted on 02/12/2014 7:13:13 AM PST by rocket002 (99% of Democrats give the rest a bad name.)
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To: nascarnation

The starting wage is low, but good pilots can move up very quickly these days and the pay is very good.


23 posted on 02/12/2014 7:13:26 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: pgkdan
That's crazy!! School bus drivers make more than that!

No, that's economics. When you're flying a 14 seat regional commuter turboprop, any single flight has a typical revenue generating capacity of 14x$99, or $1,400. A typical commuter aircraft may make eight trips a day (four each way) from a small regional airport to a major airport hub. So that makes the daily revenue potential (if flying full, both ways, every trip) at $11,200 per day.

You have fuel, aircraft maintenance, gate fees, and capital equipment costs that eat up most of that. And the planes don't fly full both ways every trip, and many trips are lower than $99 per ticket, so the actual revenue is lower than the $11,200 figure. How much is left for pilot salaries?

And the school bus drivers are paid by the taxpayers, not by paying customers, so what they make is not relevant to the discussion.

24 posted on 02/12/2014 7:14:43 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Red in Blue PA

I do not want to fly with a pilot who makes $22,000 a year.


25 posted on 02/12/2014 7:16:01 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: Resolute Conservative

Pilots Often Head to Wrong Airports, Reports Show

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wireStory/pilots-head-wrong-airports-reports-show-22449175


26 posted on 02/12/2014 7:17:24 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: Red in Blue PA

Sure they do. My buddy’s Cessna 172 (4 seater) has auto pilot.


27 posted on 02/12/2014 7:17:45 AM PST by rocket002 (99% of Democrats give the rest a bad name.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

That would be because so many people want to be pilots, and have the qualifications and certifications. You can do most of it on simulators these days.


28 posted on 02/12/2014 7:19:39 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (The only way women can "have it all" is if men aren't allowed to have anything.)
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To: Moonman62

I think the challenge today is the cost of accumulating enough hours to qualify for commercial.


29 posted on 02/12/2014 7:20:09 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Its called SUPPLY AND DEMAND

There are MANY people who would love an opportunity to be a pilot.

If there were only a few who wanted the job, the pay would be higher.

I would work for free if they would let me fly planes


30 posted on 02/12/2014 7:22:41 AM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I thought you had to have 1500 hours multi-engine now to qualify?

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/07/15604.html/


31 posted on 02/12/2014 7:23:28 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: pgkdan

“School bus drivers make more than that!”

School bus drivers are paid by the govt. and their budget for their wages is co-mingled with the “for the children” edumacation budget.


32 posted on 02/12/2014 7:24:36 AM PST by staytrue
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To: teg_76

As I am a aviation consultant, believe it. The qualified part is you need a
minimum 1500 hours of flying timer to fly an a scheduled commercial airliner as of Jan. 1. Before you could fly the right seat for as little as 250 hours and build your time from there.

This was a governmental knee jerk reaction to the Continental crash in 2009 at Buffalo.


33 posted on 02/12/2014 7:24:43 AM PST by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Isaiah 5:20)
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To: rocket002
Sure they do. My buddy’s Cessna 172 (4 seater) has auto pilot.

Does auto pilot imply auto land now? It did not used to.

34 posted on 02/12/2014 7:26:20 AM PST by cicero2k
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To: Red in Blue PA

A truly hilarious story.

Airlines can’t find enough qualified pilots because they pay such low salaries.

Somewhere out there in financial principles land there is an answer to this dilemma.

Wait, wait, don’t push me, it will come to me...


35 posted on 02/12/2014 7:26:28 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Squawk 8888

“Most pilots work 10-15 years before they make a decent living.”

Same for many physicians, attorneys, politicians, small business owners, and I hate to say it but TEACHERS (who get paid by years of experience due to union rules).


36 posted on 02/12/2014 7:28:20 AM PST by staytrue
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To: teg_76

It is true. Starting salaries are abysmal.


37 posted on 02/12/2014 7:28:49 AM PST by Marie Antoinette (:)
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To: ilovesarah2012

I do not want to fly with a pilot who makes $22,000 a year.


See post 12. You’d be flying with an experienced instructor/trainer pilot along with that $22,000 trainee pilot.


38 posted on 02/12/2014 7:33:29 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("Income Inequality?" Let's start with Washington DC vs. the rest of the nation!)
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To: Red in Blue PA

It’s possible that these “low” starting salaries are actually far too high.

Part of the cost of a pilot is the risk that he will incur liability for his employer (such as by crashing the plane, or a PR disaster landing at the wrong airport, etc.).

These pilots are paid presumably so they can have a subsistence living until they are actually economically profitable enough to overcome all the costs of entrusting them with the aircraft and passengers. That, because the airline needs the trained pilot down the road.

If pay was based on who is truly receiving net benefits, the young pilots would probably be paying the airline for a few years.


39 posted on 02/12/2014 7:37:04 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("Income Inequality?" Let's start with Washington DC vs. the rest of the nation!)
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To: DIRTYSECRET

I can’t think of many things I enjoy less than going to an airport and getting on an airplane....unless it’s having to transfer to another airplane!!! Use to be a very pleasurable experience!!!


40 posted on 02/12/2014 7:37:29 AM PST by ontap
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To: Red in Blue PA
"I was shocked to read his"

Why? This is old news.

Don't you remember the Continental Connection plane crash in Buffalo?

The media has covered the problem since then. Go watch the PBS Frontline show, "Flying Cheap"

41 posted on 02/12/2014 7:38:47 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Squawk 8888

I had no idea.


42 posted on 02/12/2014 7:41:43 AM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: Mr. K
There are MANY people who would love an opportunity to be a pilot. If there were only a few who wanted the job, the pay would be higher.

You could say that exact thing about physicians, CEO's and on down the line.
43 posted on 02/12/2014 7:43:29 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.-Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Red in Blue PA

I dunno. What does a “starting pilot” do? Watch the actual pilot, and do gopher tasks? OJT?

Next question is, what do the pilots get paid when they become actually responsible for the flight?


44 posted on 02/12/2014 7:43:38 AM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Atlas Sneezed

Some of the regional airports are very tiny, seeing only 4 flights per day (commuter shuttles) in addition to hobby traffic. And that IS all they pay.

Nope, it’s not an ‘oh poor me’ union piece.

I had a family member...and I was shocked.


45 posted on 02/12/2014 7:44:05 AM PST by PrairieLady2
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To: Red in Blue PA

Standby CEOs for small companies often get paid little.


46 posted on 02/12/2014 7:44:57 AM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Yo-Yo
You have fuel, aircraft maintenance, gate fees, and capital equipment costs that eat up most of that. And the planes don't fly full both ways every trip, and many trips are lower than $99 per ticket, so the actual revenue is lower than the $11,200 figure. How much is left for CEO and management salaries?

Why is it only pilots take the hit?
47 posted on 02/12/2014 7:45:30 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.-Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Red in Blue PA
How much is left for CEO and management salaries?

You're right. There should be a law that CEOs cannot make more than 10 times the lowest paid employee, with a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence for any violations.

Economics tells us that if there is a pilot shortage, and it is the low salaries that are to blame, then pilot salaries will rise to attract new candidates.

48 posted on 02/12/2014 7:50:15 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Red in Blue PA

if demand for pilots exist... and demand for flights exist... then salaries for pilots would be up.

if salaries are down, yet supply is short, then profitability must be very low.

of course, the individual pilot can only impact the profit generated by the single plane he/she is on at the time. payment for all members of the crew along with maintenance and overhead, would have to come out of the passengers on that one plane.


49 posted on 02/12/2014 8:03:08 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: DIRTYSECRET
PEOPLE AREN’T FLYING!

Passenger miles in billions by year.

2000: 500

2001: 472

2002: 469 Both 01 and 02 were pretty obviously impacted by 9/11.

2003: 493

2004: 543

2005: 569

2006: 575

2007: 592

2008: 568

2009: 539

2010: 552

2011: 564

2012: 569

2013: 484 (thru October only) Probably around 575 or 580 for the year.

It seems pretty clear that the primary factor affecting air travel miles is the general economy.

Gasoline costs twice as much under the Great One.

Over the eight years of the Bush administration, gas averaged $2.43. During the five years so far of the Obama administration, it's averaged $3.18. That's an increase of 31%, not 100%.

50 posted on 02/12/2014 8:06:41 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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