Offset by Furloughs in 2002; 2003 Should be Better
The airline industry concluded 2002 with 5,845
total pilots hired, just short of AIR, Inc.'s projected hiring of
6,000 for the year. A somewhat accelerated hiring pace is expected
in 2003, as the industry struggles to recover in the face of a down
economy. AIR, Inc. projects the industry will hire 7,000
new pilots this year.
In December, 94 of the 199 total (47%) airlines/operators
reporting to AIR, Inc. hired pilots. The major airlines hired 15
pilots with five of the 14 (36%) carriers expected to hire over the
next several months. In the national airlines segment, the most
active, 13 of 31 (42%) hired a total of 97 new pilots. The jet
operators hired 92; fractional companies hired 29. The non-jet
operators hired 51 new pilots. At the end of December, the total
number of pilots on furlough decreased to 7,475 (7.90%), compared
to 7,785 (8.2%) in November out of the total of 94,571 active
failed to secure a $1.8 billion loan guarantee from the ATSB,
United Airlines (UAL) filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection December 9. On December 28, the carrier
secured a tentative 29% wage concession package from its pilots,
represented by ALPA. The pilots ratified the agreement on January
7. It also has a tentative 9% concession agreement from flight
attendants, represented by AFA. UAL's mechanics, however, are
resisting further wage concessions. UAL also announced
additional pilot furloughs: 220 on January 15 and 177 more March 2,
bringing the total number of UAL furloughed pilots to 1,241.
Frontier Airlines added its 15th Airbus A319 on
December 23, bringing its total fleet to 17 B737-300s, five
B737-200s, and 15 A319s. On January 6, a report prepared by the
Regional Air Service Initiative reported 223 U.S. airports had
regional jet service in 2002, with 26 airports receiving their
first RJ service during the year.
2002 was not
kind to commercial pilots. Some 7475 of the roughly 75,000 industry
layoffs were front-seaters. The largest single group of pilot
furloughs wore US Airways uniforms (1356); Delta (1015) and
American (including TWA, 926) followed at a distance. The majors
were kinder to pilots, in general, at least as a percentage of
total layoffs. That is to be expected, since the smaller aircraft
have a proportionately higher number of pilots. For example, the
nationals laid off 2255 people, of which 1356 were pilots.
"Leading" that group were Continental Express (383), American Eagle
(237), and Express One (231), with Sun Country (217) a contender
for third place.
How to Get a "Jet-Job:"
The Southwest region Airline Pilot Career
Seminar, Airline Forum, and Job Fair will be held in
Dallas (TX) at DFW, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel Saturday, January
25. Airlines attending include: Federal Express, Southwest
Airlines, AirNet, AirTran, American Eagle Airlines, Atlantic Coast
Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Bombardier Flexjet, Comair,
JetBlue, Louisiana National Guard, NetJets, TAB Express, USA Jet,
and USA 3000 Airlines with many others invited to attend. The
seminar will feature topics on the pilot hiring market, job search
planning, pre-employment medical exams, interviewing, written
testing, and applications/résumés/cover letters.
American Airlines will be speaking during the Airline Forum and
Southwest Airlines will be offering attendees, their spouses and
airline recruiters tours of their training center following the Job
Even if you're only 'planning ahead...'
Six Career Workshops will also be conducted. The first three
workshops will be held Friday afternoon and evening, Jan. 24,
featuring CRM, Military/Airline Transition, and Civilian/Airline
Transition. Covered Sunday will be Interview Survival, Airline
Testing/Simulator Checks, and Résumés/Cover
Letters/Applications. The next seminar is planned for Los Angeles
(LAX) on April 12, 2003.