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Old 12-02-2019, 03:16 PM   #1  
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Default Major hiring at the minimums

If the LCC/ULCCs started hiring at 1500 what would that mean for regionals and the scope issues?? Wouldn’t this also benefit the LCC/ULCC in that the more regional(cheap) flights the LCC/ULCCs take away in pilot capacity from the legacies regional networks the more market share they can take in those secondary markets. If they began to collude and focus on secondary markets that mainly regional airlines serve.

From an outsider it looks like the only price advantage legacies have is the regionals and if the LCC could find a way to end regionals they would have a major price advantage (scale still being an issue for the LCCs).

Also as an outsider it seems rather counterintutive for pilots to in one hand want scope protections but in the other hand complain when hiring minimums are lowered? This doesn’t make any sense? From looking through these forums it appears most pilots want to see younger pilots go through the regionals because it is what they had to do yet the same pilots complain about scope?
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:47 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by mkitrn View Post
If the LCC/ULCCs started hiring at 1500 what would that mean for regionals and the scope issues?? Wouldn’t this also benefit the LCC/ULCC in that the more regional(cheap) flights the LCC/ULCCs take away in pilot capacity from the legacies regional networks the more market share they can take in those secondary markets. If they began to collude and focus on secondary markets that mainly regional airlines serve.

From an outsider it looks like the only price advantage legacies have is the regionals and if the LCC could find a way to end regionals they would have a major price advantage (scale still being an issue for the LCCs).

Also as an outsider it seems rather counterintutive for pilots to in one hand want scope protections but in the other hand complain when hiring minimums are lowered? This doesn’t make any sense? From looking through these forums it appears most pilots want to see younger pilots go through the regionals because it is what they had to do yet the same pilots complain about scope?
The regionals serve many markets which simply can't support ULCC VFR-direct city-pairs. Also MANY pax want to use their miles for a vacation to CDG, not IWA.

The legacies fly a large majority of US pax and there's a reason for that.

But the legacies can easily fix it if too many CFI's go to ULCCs instead of regionals: Enhanced flow programs. Almost nobody would swing gear at a ULCC when they can lock in a legacy seniority number.

But it would have to pretty defined, something like five years and then you get a number and mainline narrowbody pay regardless of what you're actually flying. Otherwise people might roll the dice to shoot for ULCC CA pay sooner instead of cooling their heels waiting for a legacy number on some unknown timeline.

They could also hire away all of the ULCC's pilots and put them out of business... that might happen anyway when they get desperate.

Alternatively, they could simply refuse to hire ULCC pilots, which would discourage most folks from going there to build time.

Nuclear option... bring the regional flying in-house.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:59 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by mkitrn View Post
If the LCC/ULCCs started hiring at 1500 what would that mean for regionals and the scope issues?? Wouldn’t this also benefit the LCC/ULCC in that the more regional(cheap) flights the LCC/ULCCs take away in pilot capacity from the legacies regional networks the more market share they can take in those secondary markets. If they began to collude and focus on secondary markets that mainly regional airlines serve.

From an outsider it looks like the only price advantage legacies have is the regionals and if the LCC could find a way to end regionals they would have a major price advantage (scale still being an issue for the LCCs).

Also as an outsider it seems rather counterintutive for pilots to in one hand want scope protections but in the other hand complain when hiring minimums are lowered? This doesn’t make any sense? From looking through these forums it appears most pilots want to see younger pilots go through the regionals because it is what they had to do yet the same pilots complain about scope?
You're missing a lot pieces of the puzzle. For starters, if Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier etc started hiring pilots with 1500 hours as a rule, it would create a host of problems and changes to those organizations. Scope is the amount of flying that unions allow to be flown by pilots other than members; these rules cover percentage of total lift as well as size of aircraft among other things. Currently, the trend at some legacies has been to try and tighten scope and bring some of that flying back in house. This is a good thing if you are a pilot, but it is also good from a managerial stand point on some levels. For starters, direct control and accountability of the product. While money can certainly be saved outsourcing labor, there is always a price to pay, and that price isn't just dollars and cents on a balance sheet related to pilot pay. For instance, there are business travelers who avoid flying regional aircraft, and for good reasons. Further, those outsourced companies may considerably hurt your brand (Dr. Dao....). To your question, the pool of pilot applicants would likely shift to an extent to the LCC's, with certain demographics being more likely to pursue that path. This could then create a deepening shortage of qualified applicants at the regionals, who would then be forced to somehow compete for pilots. It would be interesting to see how their legacy partners/owners tackled the issue. It is possible that they would negotiate TAs to tighten scope further, but this would be a process, and in the meantime, what happens to all that lift??

Legacy airlines protect their market share and their fortresses viciously. And currently, they have the financial power to go through quite a fight. I do not believe that LCCs lowering their average total time hiring would much effect scope at all. If anything, I think you would see stronger career progression schemes and more direct ownership of regional airlines. These schemes can potentially guarantee a pilot of a legacy job in as little as four years (on paper), and there are going to be plenty of willing participants.

To your point of legacies only price advantage being the regionals, that's woefully naive. One word: scale. That, more than probably anything else, is their price advantage. Off the top of my head, here are few other advantages: brand recognition, network, frequent flier programs, product, lobby groups.... but scale is number one. Further, consider the amount of hiring at the legacies right now. It's huge. And IF they hire a large swath of age groups right now, over the next five - ten years, they will have the lowest paid pilot group they've had in decades. Huge savings for them over now.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:39 PM   #4  
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Stealing pilots from a LCC is actually helping the LCC's keep their pilot costs low. The legacy airlines have a lot of 12 yr pay first officers and captains at the far right of the payscale. When you hire a 4 yr jetblue first officer and they fill that seat with a newhire you are going from 150 an hour to 90 an hour. The problem with this whole deal is that the LCC become this land of those trapped by golden handcuffs and the odd balls who were never going to get hired by a legacy. Every airline has their fair share of doorknobs but when the hiring environment is like it has been your odds of working with people who make this job less enjoyable goes up at a LCC.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:04 PM   #5  
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Stealing pilots from a LCC is actually helping the LCC's keep their pilot costs low. The legacy airlines have a lot of 12 yr pay first officers and captains at the far right of the payscale. When you hire a 4 yr jetblue first officer and they fill that seat with a newhire you are going from 150 an hour to 90 an hour. The problem with this whole deal is that the LCC become this land of those trapped by golden handcuffs and the odd balls who were never going to get hired by a legacy. Every airline has their fair share of doorknobs but when the hiring environment is like it has been your odds of working with people who make this job less enjoyable goes up at a LCC.
I’m sorry, but you conveniently leave out how much it costs to train a pilot. JB, F9, NK etc etc don’t train pilots hoping they’ll leave in a few years.

Further, I can’t speak for all LCCs, but at B6 I’ve only flown with great individuals. Just so happens we have a lot of pilots and want to work here, especially if one lives in BOS, JFK, or FLL. Your assessment of LCCs is poor at best.
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