For the primary time in almost 20 years, United Airways is opening new pilot bases. This looks as if a logical transfer that’s good for everybody.
United opening pilot bases in Las Vegas & Orlando
United Airways has revealed that it is going to be opening two new pilot bases in Might 2023 — the airline shall be opening a Las Vegas (LAS) base with 204 pilots, and an Orlando (MCO) base with 300 pilots. These bases will solely have Boeing 737 pilots, reflecting the planes which can be primarily flown to and from these airports. United Airways’ new pilot base in Orlando may cowl Tampa (TPA) sooner or later sooner or later.
Presently United primarily has pilot bases at its hubs. Whereas pilots can reside anyplace they need, they’re answerable for commuting to their base in time for the flights they need to work. Whereas they’ll journey on United for subsequent to nothing, there typically aren’t empty seats, in order that they have to depart loads of time to commute, and likewise typically need to pay for lodges (or a “crash pad”) at their base.
Nonetheless a number of pilots discover commuting price it. In spite of everything, airways typically have hubs in costly cities, so pilots would typically slightly reside in locations with a decrease price of dwelling, after which undergo the trouble of commuting.
These new pilot bases have been chosen based mostly on having the best focus of United pilots dwelling there outdoors of the service’s current hubs. For instance, over 1,000 United Airways pilots reside in Florida and commute. It’s additionally in all probability not a coincidence that these bases are in locations with no state earnings tax.
This looks as if a win-win-win
Traditionally the logic for limiting pilot bases has been that it’s extra environment friendly to have fewer bases. That’s since you all the time want reserve pilots in case there are operational points, and it’s extra environment friendly to do this for a bigger base than a smaller base.
Nonetheless, because the state of affairs has advanced, this looks as if it’s helpful for everybody, together with the airline, pilots, and even prospects. In a memo, United claims that this modification will “drive operational integrity and restoration throughout off-schedule operations.”
For pilots who reside close to these airports, the chance to reside the place you need with out having to commute is superior. It’ll save pilots a number of money and time, particularly with flights as full as they’re these days (which means that in lots of circumstances pilots have to depart ample time for commutes).
This additionally makes issues higher for United, because the airline will extra reliably have the ability to schedule pilots. Whereas commuting was finally the duty of pilots, there have been loads of conditions the place pilots didn’t make it to the flight they have been alleged to work attributable to delays, full flights, and so forth.
That is additionally helpful in conditions the place there are irregular operations in Las Vegas or Orlando, because the airline will have the ability to name in reserves who’re based mostly there, as wanted.
This may even typically assist United with recruiting pilots. With pilots being briefly provide, having the ability to be based mostly near the place you reside is a large potential benefit. Heck, it is a purpose that a number of pilots select to work for Allegiant (the place they’re paid much less), because the airline has bases at lots of its locations.
For the primary time in roughly 20 years, United Airways is opening new pilot bases. As of the spring of 2023, United will open bases in Las Vegas and Orlando, reflecting that that is the place a number of pilots reside. This shall be an enormous profit for pilots who reside close to these airports and in any other case commute, as they’ll save a number of time, they usually received’t need to depend on commuting to get to their jobs anymore.
I feel this additionally extra broadly displays that airways try to make modifications which can be engaging to pilots, given the pilot scarcity.
What do you make of United’s new pilot bases?