Piedmont and Envoy, airlines owned by Fort Worth-based Americans, will be giving large wage increases to the 4,500 pilots that operate with those companies. The increased wage goes from $51 to $90 as starting pay for new pilots, according to the Dallas Morning News.
These two Fort Worth companies reached a deal with the Airline Pilot Association to increase salaries and give bonuses to pilots to face the hyper-competitive field that has become the flight industry.
The cause of this competitiveness and the rise in salaries is the pilot shortage in regional flights. Every year a regional airline loses 30% of its pilots.
According to the Dallas Morning News, American Airlines CEO Robert Isom has stated the company was forced to keep 100 regional jets parked last month, because of the lack of pilots.
Piedmont CEO Eric Morgan told the Dallas Morning News starting pilots now will make $90,000 a year, first officers $150,000, and $200,000 for experienced pilots. “Customers want to fly and we have airplanes parked because we don’t have enough pilots,” he said. Approximately 6% to 10% more than the old salaries.
American Airlines is also giving $187,000 on sign-on bonuses to student pilots in exchange for their posterior enrolment in the company for a few years.
The shortage was caused by the massive recruiting of pilots from bigger airlines such as American, United, Delta, and Southwest who lost long career officers and needed more once the quarantine was over, according to Louis Smith, president, and CEO of FAPA.aero.