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Trans States Airlines sweetens offer for first officersTrans States Airlines sweetens offer for first officers

First-year pay may reach $86KFirst-year pay may reach $86K

Trans States Airlines has significantly raised the stakes for pilot compensation by offering a $44,000 hiring bonus to qualified new-hire first officers.

Solid flying skills, aviation education, and flight experience can lead to a career in aviation. iStock photo.

The Jan. 12 announcement brings total first-year compensation for new-hire first officers to approximately $86,000. Pilots with airline experience, qualified to fly as a first officer or as a captain, “can expect a minimum year one compensation package of up to $90,000,” the news release noted.

"Trans States has consistently been a leader in regional airline pilot pay, and is proud to offer one of the most competitive pilot compensation packages in the industry," wrote chief operating officer Fred Oxley.

The airline also provides a seniority reservation program that “greatly reduces the likelihood of sitting reserve as a first officer,” and an express hire program that speeds qualified Part 121 pilots through the interview process.

The Bridgeton, Missouri-based airline serves 3.5 million passengers annually on more than 230 daily flights to 70 North American cities via routes with American Eagle and United Express.

“We are happy to see the compensation increasing and becoming more suitable for the knowledge, skill, and personal competence that is required for this profession,” said Ken Byrnes, the flight department chair for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Florida, campus. “Becoming a professional pilot requires a significant amount of investment of both money and time. In addition to completing rigorous training programs, professional pilots must adopt and internalize a personal commitment to safety and professionalism.”

Byrnes and other educators previously noted that salary increases in the aviation field are driving more college freshmen toward professional aviation careers as pilots, mechanics, and air traffic control personnel.

The average starting salary for commercial pilots at regional carriers had already doubled in the past two years—from $30,000 to $60,000.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Pilot Training and Certification

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