OK, so you’re now a pilot. You have your Private License, Instrument Rating, Commercial Certificate and Multi-Engine Rating. You’ve also worked briefly as a flight instructor, earning money while building "free" hours. You now have 350 or 500 hours, maybe a little less even. What your next step?
Chances are you’ll find yourself on the hiring list of a regional airline. They are growing fast and are often the first important career step for a young pilot. Why are regional airlines hiring so many pilots? Look at these statistics, and you’ll understand:
The regional carrier fleet in the US grew by 52 aircraft in 2007 as declines in turboprop and piston aircraft were offset by an increase in jet aircraft. (Keep in mind that each new aircraft requires hiring approximately 10-15 pilots). All jet aircraft growth in the next few years is expected to occur in the 70-90 seat segment.
Regional carriers accounted for 22.6% of domestic commercial enplanements in 2007, up from 12.4% in 2000. Since 2000, regional capacity has grown 142.4%, traffic is up 207.6% and enplanements are up 95.4%.