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PSA Offering Quarter Million Bonuses for FedEx and UPS Pilots

The Hiring Competition Heats Up with Yet Another Bonus Scheme

American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines is aiming for experienced UPS and FedEx captains in an effort to bolster their services to smaller routes - and they believe a $250,000 bonus should help to fill seats.

Like so many schemes, the bonuses aim squarely at the dearth of qualified, direct-entry captains in the industry, a hot commodity as the long-foretold Baby Boomer retirement wave begins to swell in the distance. American Airlines, or more particularly its regional carriers, has seen stark contractions in service to smaller, lower activity airports around the country. It may seem like a good match on the surface, as parcel volume wanes and holiday projections remain unimpressive. 

Those in the know probably won’t hold their breath for droves of captains to make the swap - the freight dog lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but those who reach the highest levels of it are probably quite content with things there. UPS and FedEx pilots might not find the small-route passenger service game all that enticing - particularly if it comes with a pay drop. PSA hopes that the bonuses will defray such concerns. Should they bite, pilots will see $175,000 of the bonus drop with their first paycheck, with the remaining $75,000 coming in at their 1-year anniversary. They’ll stick with the CRJ 700 and 900s, with starting wages sitting at $150 to $217 an hour depending on experience.

Overall, the Regional Airline Association has seen a large drop in small market service across the board, noting a year ago that 76% of US airports had seen “diminished or lost air service.” RAA president Faye Malarkey Black addressed the issue in November last year, stating ““We now have more than 500 regional aircraft parked without pilots to fly them and an associated air service retraction at 324 communities,” said Faye Malarkey Black, RAA CEO. “14 airports have lost all scheduled commercial air service – a number that is still rising.”



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