Real Answers from Real Pilots

Regional to Majors

(Dara Griffith) #1

I have a question about whether major airlines prefer jet time over turboprop time. For examle, my main goal is to end up at an airline like Fedex or UPS, or with Atlas, Southern Air, and another airline called Omni Air International. All of these airlines fly larger airplanes such as 747s, 777s, or 767s. I want to know that when they say turbine time if they care if it is turboprop in a small Dash 8 or if they prefer jet time in an ERJ or CRJ. I am also curious because one route that I see is Ameriflight to UPS and Ameriflight flies all turboprop planes. So to make it simple, since my goal is to fly with airlines like Atlas or UPS, will it matter if I fly with a regional the flies turboprops or will they prefer if I have jet time.
Please let me know if you don’t understand my question.



First off you really can’t put FedEx and UPS in the same category as Atlas, Southern or Omni. FedEx and UPS are basically legacy Major carriers while the others are second tier. You’ll get different opinions on the subject and honestly I had seen people getting hired with just turboprop experience in the past. I believe however this has changed a little due to the shortage. Majors are looking at pilots with less time BUT they want to see a higher quality of experience. There’s nothing wrong with TPs but they are relegated to lower flight levels and much shorter trips vs the larger RJs which can practically go transcon. I think you need to define your goals more clearly. If you simply want to fly a large jet full of boxes then you can go wherever because Atlas, Kalitta, Omni and Southern (who I believe was recently purchased by Atlas) will take you. If you want to fly for FedEx or UPS then you’ll mostly likely need some jet time or you can pay your dues with the lower tiers. If you read the UPS/Ameriflight Gatewate details there’s ALOT of “mays”, “ifs” and my favorite “based on the needs”.




I would stay away from flying turbo props. The major airlines (cargo and passenger) fly airplanes with jet engines and as such, want to hire pilots with jet time. The few pilots that I have seen sneak through here with turboprop time really lack the experience that jet pilots have and it can really show in the cockpit when they are new.