3 min read

For Pilots Only: March 16, 2024

Connecting the Dots

In a recent exchange with the head of hiring at a legacy carrier, the following was shared:

The highlight is that we are continuing to hire, just pushing everything over by a few months. We are still committed to growing and hiring many pilots over the coming years. I hope that can put some of your client's minds at ease.

Other people in their positions at Legacy Airlines have told me similar things.

Why are they telling me this?

Well, believe it or not, it’s because they're worried the bad news is discouraging qualified pilots from applying. The recent news: Spirit has over 1 billion in debt they need to repay, Delta expects their Boeing 737 Max 10 deliveries to be delayed until 2027 (and other carriers are concerned about whether there's even a path forward for certification at all), and American is potentially cancelling multiple months of future classes, is rightly so, discouraging news for pilots looking to get hired. 

The news has pilots spooked. Especially military and regional pilots looking to fly for a legacy airline.

On paper, it looks like the hiring wave is crashing and a lot of pilots missed the boat. But in reality, it's the calm before the next wave arrives.


For three reasons:

First, age 65 retirements are staying strong. American may be cancelling select classes now, but their retirements peak next year, so any pullback is temporary. They have to continue hiring just to maintain the status quo, even if Boeing and Airbus can't meet their delivery schedules.

Second, the legacies have to hire well ahead of their Boeing and Airbus deliveries. It's taking 6 to 9 months from interview offer to type rating complete on average right now. If the airlines pull back hiring too much, they'll be caught flat-footed just like they were coming out of Coronavirus. Right now, recruiting teams are aggressively pushing to build their depleted application pools back up. They need a larger group of pilots to choose from so that they can hire the most qualified candidates. The smaller that pool is, the lower the qualifications they will be forced to choose from. If pilots looking to jump to a legacy don’t put that application in now, and UPDATE it continually, they'll watch way less qualified pilots get hired over them later. Recruiters can only choose from the pool of pilots they have on file. You've got to be in it to win it.

Which leads me to the third reason.

And that has to do with familiarity.

Because familiarity is a major factor in hiring.

Recruiters at Legacy Airlines are more likely to hire pilots they know. The problem is that familiarity is best built with routine.

The only way a legacy airline develops familiarity with you over time is when you submit an application and update it routinely.

They can see and score when you add volunteer experience.

They can see and score when you add a new check ride.

They can see and score when you add a new rating.

They can see and score when you pass a recurrent.

They can see and score when you've moved.

They can see and score all that and create a complete picture with a trend.

But more importantly, if you update your application at the end of every week when you're done flying, they see how badly you want the job.

Updating applications takes effort, that's why it scores so many points. It shows you actually want to be there.

It shows that you are not just doing a spray-and-pray job and that you are not the kind of pilot who will quit after three months to go somewhere else for better basing.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

We know applications are time-consuming and hard, that's why we fill them out for you.

So, if you want to fly for a legacy airline this is an apply now or face the consequences later situation.

The consequences are not living in base, commuting to reserve, years of seniority lost, never making wide-body captain, not holding a line, and scratching off a couple million from your retirement account.

The question is, are you competitive? Is applying now a waste of your time?

The short answer is, I don't know until I talk to you. Unlike online forums or your buddies, we have the data and relationships to directly tell you where you fit and where you don’t.

And if that is not a big enough incentive then also consider this:

If you are a fit anywhere, we'll tell you where and what to expect. If you're not, we'll tell you why and what you can do about it.

Book a free strategy session with my team and ditch the stress and anxiety for clarity and comfort.

What’s your excuse now?

Fly safe


Below are the articles if you want to read more:

✈️ Delta expects Boeing 737 Max 10 deliveries to be delayed until

‌✈️ Spirit has more than $1 billion debt that it has to repay, and soon

✈️ United Reveals 2024 Fleet Expectations, Sans-MAX 10

✈️ Boeing Cannot Find Any Documentation For Work Done On Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 Door Plug



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