CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Piedmont Airlines is raising wages and offering news bonuses in an effort to recruit pilots amid a regional pilot shortage.
Representatives with Piedmont Airlines, a regional carrier for American Airlines, say under a new contract agreement pilot wages would be 50 to 70 percent higher (57 percent) on average than the next highest paid regional carrier.
Officials say including all bonuses, a new pilot should expect to make 31 percent more than pilots at the next regional carrier and 10 percent more than pilots at leading Ultra Low-Cost Carriers (ULCCs) over the first five years.
Also under the new contract extension between Piedmont Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), officials say First Officer starting pay will be at $90 per hour plus bonuses.
Officials say pilots who bring their qualifying experience as a Direct Entry Captain will start at $150 per hour plus bonuses.
Piedmont Airlines hopes the new contract agreement will attract and retain the best regional pilots and make its pilots the highest paid in the regional industry.