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Stay in Cargo or move to Legacy?

Old 09-16-2022, 11:08 AM
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Question Stay in Cargo or move to Legacy?

First off, if this sounds like a dumb question; I apologize.

The TL;DR is, do I leave an ACMI CA position (live in base, but on RSV) and go to a Legacy right now?

The reason I have been questioning myself here is mainly the uncertainty of leaving a stable job for a pax operation when the economy is slowing down. I've had friends say I should leave yesterday and others who are worried about the further implications that other transit systems have on the overall economy (i.e railroad) and how that might slow down passenger ops.

Like a few of us, I lost my regional job due to COVID but thankfully the ACMI kept me employed these past few years. I've been considering leaving since I've heard a lot of people say to never retire at an ACMI (no offense to those who do, just what I've been told) and honestly I don't know if I can survive cargo for the next 30 some years. Perhaps it's the underlying thought of having lost my job once at a passenger carrier has me thinking like this but I can't say.

So, am I over thinking, under thinking here? Heck I only have about 2800TT and I have no idea what is 'competitive' since I've been out of the pax sphere for a while. Any advice, analogies, proverbs I'll take anything.

Regards, Zack
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Old 09-17-2022, 08:05 AM
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There’s no decision to make until you have a CJO.

Step 1: Apply.

Personally I’d have had my app out to all of the majors this entire time and would have bailed from the ACMI at the best opportunity, but your own circumstances may be a lot different than mine. You questioned whether you can stand cargo for another 30 years, so it sounds like you already somewhat know your mind.

The longer you dither the more seniority you’re missing out on at a major/legacy.
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Old 09-17-2022, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Steam View Post
First off, if this sounds like a dumb question; I apologize.

The TL;DR is, do I leave an ACMI CA position (live in base, but on RSV) and go to a Legacy right now?

The reason I have been questioning myself here is mainly the uncertainty of leaving a stable job for a pax operation when the economy is slowing down. I've had friends say I should leave yesterday and others who are worried about the further implications that other transit systems have on the overall economy (i.e railroad) and how that might slow down passenger ops.

Like a few of us, I lost my regional job due to COVID but thankfully the ACMI kept me employed these past few years. I've been considering leaving since I've heard a lot of people say to never retire at an ACMI (no offense to those who do, just what I've been told) and honestly I don't know if I can survive cargo for the next 30 some years. Perhaps it's the underlying thought of having lost my job once at a passenger carrier has me thinking like this but I can't say.

So, am I over thinking, under thinking here? Heck I only have about 2800TT and I have no idea what is 'competitive' since I've been out of the pax sphere for a while. Any advice, analogies, proverbs I'll take anything.

Regards, Zack
In almost every situation a Legacy is a better move than an ACMI long term.
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Old 09-17-2022, 08:50 AM
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Between the pilot shortage and commencing retirement wave I think you’ll be fine. Worst case, you’ll have recall rights with a furlough. Look at the long term…
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Old 09-17-2022, 09:18 AM
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30-ish years left? Get your seniority number and don't look back.

Even if you get furloughed you'll still be better off mid/long-term. Especially if you have, or want to have, a family.

ACMI or second-tier cargo is not the most stable industry over the long-term.
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:55 AM
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Thanks everyone, I guess the thought of being furloughed again kinda scared me into not wanting to leave the cargo side. I figured, 'yeah the schedules aren't great but it's kept me employed through this mess so maybe I can tough it out' mentality probably kept me here up until now. I appreciate the advice, guess I will start getting those app's in!
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
30-ish years left? Get your seniority number and don't look back.

Even if you get furloughed you'll still be better off mid/long-term. Especially if you have, or want to have, a family.

ACMI or second-tier cargo is not the most stable industry over the long-term.
Absolutely, ESPECIALLY with 30 years left you’d be crazy to stay at an ACMI.
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Old 09-18-2022, 01:22 PM
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You don't have a decision to make till you have a CJO
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Old 09-18-2022, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot4000 View Post
You don't have a decision to make till you have a CJO
He should probably make the decision before he interviews, since he probably will get an interview and CJO. If not now, then soon.

Better not to possibly burn a bridge and decline a CJO... he might want to work there in the future.
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Old 09-19-2022, 05:26 AM
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Depends which ACMI operator. Some are decidedly better than others.

There are advantages to staying with an ACMI operator, too. You may be able to get in on the lower rungs of the rat race at American or United or Delta, which may put you in the perfect position to be furloughed. While others were reducing in numbers during Covid, the ACMI field was working its tail off with record profits.

Some find cargo flying to be far more suitable than passenger flying, and the two best paying operators in the world aren't passenger legacies.

ACMI flying with home basing is much better, in my opinion, than commuting. I can't think I've ever met a soul that enjoyed commuting.
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