Real Answers from Real Pilots

Regionals and their contracts

This might be a confusing question but as I read the news about regional airlines and how their contracts come up to serve for one of the majors I start to wonder. At these times this leaves some uncertainty for those employees, now usually it seems for now they are picking up other contracts. But question is about a company like Endeavor Air who is wholly owned by a major airline. Also follows all of Delta’s procedures directly with a guaranteed interview program, granted you still have to sell yourself and be better than everyone applying on top of meeting the requirements to get the guaranteed interview. Also noted that they don’t participate in the tuition reimbursement program.

Wanted to know your opinion on this and how this may effect a pilot in the regionals when they are employed by a company like Endeavor and transferring to either Delta but mainly opting out and going to a different airline. Also experience you may have had working for a regional and losing a contract for one airline and transfer to another.

Chris,

You ask an excellent question and that’s (IMHO) the number one reason it’s foolish to be spending any thought on what Regional you think you might want to fly for until just before (we’re talking months NOT years) you’re actually ready to apply. When I got hired at ExpressJet it was the flagship Regional. We did the vast majority of flying for Continental and had the best contract in the industry bar none. That was until we lost a BIG chunk of flying to Republic. Next thing you know pilots were getting furloughed and downgraded and the company was looking for concessions. A few years later ExpressJet was bought by SkyWest, Continental merged with United and things are good again.

None of us have crystal balls, things can flip in a day and there is absolutely no way you’ll ever know any of it until it’s announced to the public that they won or lost flying. Find a Regional that works for you base or equipment wise and hope for the best.

Adam