With the travel demand increasing, the pilot shortage has created lucrative careers for commercial pilots.
Piedmont Airlines is offering more than $180,000 in potential bonuses to recruit and retain pilots amid a massive shortage
Pilots flying for American Airlines’ regional carrier subsidiary Piedmont Airlines are eligible to earn over $180,000 in retention bonuses. Envoy Air and PSA Airlines are also offering generous bonuses, up to $150,000.
With travel surging again, airline pilots are in high demand, and six-figure salaries are common.
The same day Southwest announced profits of $348 million, the company’s CEO said it is harder than ever to recruit new employees. Southwest is known for high wages and generous profit-sharing.
Wizz Air, based in Hungary and serving 44 countries, has announced plans to hire 4,600 pilots within the next 9 years.
FedEx is adding 3,000 workers to its base in Memphis and 80,000 nationwide. This hiring surge will include pilots.
United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines are in need of pilots, so they are fast-tracking trainees. An estimated 5,000 airline pilots in the U.S. retired during the pandemic, and the major airlines need 5,000 to 6,000 pilots a year.
American Airlines has announced plans to hire 1,300 additional pilots by the end of 2022. Vice President of Operations Chip Long said, “New hire classes will resume in September and will include flow form Envoy, Piedmont and PSA, as well as pilots who were hired at the onset of the pandemic.”
American Airlines expects to hire 350 pilots this year and an additional 1,000 next year. Vice President Chip Long said the company is “full speed ahead with plans to continue recruiting, hiring, and training the best and most diverse pilots in the business.”
Southwest Airlines is responding to the growing demand for flights by hiring 120 additional pilots. Southwest has experienced numerous canceled flights recently due to a lack of pilots.