When an airline buys a new aircraft to add to its fleet, how many pilots must that airline hire? You may think two pilots or even four, but if you say that, you've guessed far too low. In the U.S. for the major or legacy airlines, such as Delta and United/Continental, each new aircraft added to the airline needs an average of 12.55 new pilots.
For U.S. national airlines such as Southwest Airlines, 10.15 new pilots are needed for every additional aircraft the airline buys.
For U.S. jet operators, such as regional airlines, which tend to fly er aircraft than the major or national airlines, each new aircraft brought online will require 8.17 new pilots on average. For non-jet airlines, 3.46 more pilots are needed for each new plane. And when a fractional jet operator,such as NetJets, buys a new aircraft, they must hire on average 4.06 new pilots.