Republic Airways Provides $100K Advantageous For Pilots Who Give up Inside Three Years

There’s presently a pilot scarcity in the USA, which is disproportionately impacting regional airways. Main regional provider Republic Airways has a brand new technique for coping with this, although it’s fairly controversial, and will backfire…

Republic Airways’ restrictive new employment contract

First for some context, Republic Airways is a regional airline in the USA, which operates a fleet of over 200 Embraer E175 plane. The airline flies these planes on behalf of the “huge three” US carriers, together with American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Categorical, so you will have flown on Republic Airways with out realizing it.

Regional airways are being hit particularly laborious by the present pilot scarcity. Pilots at US airways work on a seniority system, so the objective for all pilots is to construct up hours at smaller airways, after which make it to their “without end airline” as shortly as potential (which is ideally an airline like American, Delta, Southwest, or United). These airways are hiring like by no means earlier than, which is an incredible alternative for regional jet pilots to advance their careers.

The catch is that which means regional airways are left with a revolving door of pilots, which simply isn’t sustainable, given the funding required in coaching. That brings us to the most recent motion by Republic Airways, as reported by Aero Crew Information.

Republic is now seeking to solely rent pilots underneath a brand new settlement, often known as the Republic Airways New First Officer Profession Development Pathway Program. That is fairly unprecedented amongst US airways:

  • This settlement requires pilots who’re employed to stick with Republic Airways for at the least three years, with the chance to advance to captain after one 12 months
  • You’re additionally committing to being a captain for 2 years; whereas the “improve” to captain sounds thrilling, needless to say you’ll have very low seniority and will must commute, in order that’s not essentially one thing everybody will need
  • If a pilot breaches this settlement and leaves voluntarily earlier than the three years are up, they’ll must pay a sum of $100,000; because it’s described, this isn’t being charged as a penalty, however slightly as liquidated damages
  • Moreover, if a pilot resigns inside that timeframe, they will be unable to work as a pilot for any competing airline inside one 12 months; a competing airline is outlined as a industrial airline with routes that compete with Republic for the flying public in the USA

It’s value noting that we’ve seen enormous pay will increase at regional airways lately, and on prime of that we regularly see bonuses for brand spanking new pilots, which can be contingent upon staying on the airline for a sure period of time. This $100,000 penalty is completely unbiased of that.

Republic Airways is asking pilots for a 3 12 months dedication

My tackle Republic Airways’ new pilot contract

Regional airways are in a tricky state of affairs, and I can admire the wrestle. Coaching pilots on jets is a large funding, when it comes to each money and time. You don’t need to spend so many assets coaching a pilot, solely to have them depart six months later and go work for an additional airline, as they simply construct up a number of hundred hours.

The legacy airways don’t have these points, as a result of typically as soon as a pilot accepts a job at a type of airways, they keep there till they retire. Moreover, regional airways have massively elevated pay lately. Regional pilots are not getting paid wages you could’t reside on. At Republic, Beginning first officer is pay is now $90 per hour (or round $90K per 12 months), whereas beginning captain pay is now $140 per hour (or round $140K per 12 months).

On the identical time, this new contract does appear to cross the road:

  • It’s one factor to supply a bonus for sticking round for a sure period of time, however it’s a distinct factor to attempt to superb somebody $100K in the event that they resolve they need to depart inside three years
  • There are every kind of different causes pilots could need to depart earlier than three years, apart from attempting to earn more money at a serious airline; possibly they don’t just like the tradition of the corporate, or possibly they resolve that this profession isn’t for them
  • Whereas that is solely being utilized to new pilots who particularly settle for these phrases (clearly), this isn’t according to the collective bargaining settlement the airline and union have in any other case agreed on

I can’t assist however marvel if Republic would possibly backtrack on this quickly. In spite of everything, certified pilots have a whole lot of choices these days, and there’s no purpose anybody would need to voluntary conform to circumstances like this. I’ve to think about this can considerably lower the scale and high quality of Republic’s potential hiring pool.

Moreover, as a passenger, I don’t love the concept of realizing that pilots are primarily pressured to be on the airline, irrespective of how sad they’re.

This can push many pilots to use at different airways

Backside line

Regional airline Republic Airways has a brand new employment contract for brand spanking new pilots with the airline. With this, pilots must decide to staying with the airline for 3 years (and being a captain for 2 of these). The airline doesn’t need pilots to stop inside three years, and can cost them $100K, on prime of threatening to implement a non-compete clause.

This is among the most excessive employment contracts we’ve seen at a US airways, particularly since this isn’t even tied to any particular sign-on bonus. I’m curious to see if this sticks…

What do you make of Republic Airways’ new pilot contract?

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