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Piedmont to Open Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Base

Begins Hiring Pilots, Flight Attendants to Staff With Sign-On Bonuses

Piedmont Airlines will soon open a new crew base out of Pennsylvania's Harrisburg International, beginning operations in May. 

The airline hopes to attract enough of their flight crew to make the switch by sweetening the deal with a series of bonuses in order to bring the Harrisburg base up to speed as soon as possible. Piedmont CEO Eric Morgan said that travel demand will dictate the exact level of activity, but at the outset, things would start manageably. “The new Harrisburg base will start with just 10 lines of flying and increase as the network warrants." Currently, the company has a fleet of aircraft flying out of American Airlines hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia, with nearby maintenance and customer service already in position at Harrisburg. Along with those interested to move into the new base, Piedmont plans to hire around 60 new pilots and flight attendants, even offering some sign-on bonuses in an effort to bring employees in the door. 

Piedmont says that $187,000 in bonuses are up for grabs over five years for those pilots who are hired this year, though some conditions are probably attached to the payments. Earlier this year Piedmont signed a tentative agreement on a new contract for the flight attendants, bringing higher wages. The airline's connection to American Airlines is upheld as a beneficial aspect for those pilots looking to establish a career with the legacy carrier, with flow-through up to the majors and the same flight benefits. Whether this will be enough to entice new employees remains to be seen, the hiring arms race has accelerated in recent months after pangs of loss echoes throughout the industry, hit by the double-whammy of early retirement packages at the top end of the pilot base, and lower-time aviators leaving the industry for other work following cutbacks and furloughs. 

FMI: www.piedmont-airlines.com


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