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Old 05-04-2006, 11:05 AM   #1  
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Default Upgrade Times Master List

I'm putting together a spreadsheet to track some companies I'm looking to apply to in a few months. Does anyone have any idea of the upgrade times for the following operators? I know there are tons of variables but lets assume
1. Willing to move frequently
2. Current company policy and growth (assume XJT finds flying for their 69 a/c)
3. pilot enters with 1000tt even if its slightly below mins
4. "Upgrade"- means PIC position in multiengine or ME turbine if availible

Company
Expressjet- 2 years
chautauqua- 3 years?
Skywest- 2 years
Horizon- 6 years?
Empire- 3 years?
Ameriflight- 3 years?
Mountain Air Cargo- 3 years?

Maybe we can use this to answer a lot of noob questions in the future (like all mine). My spreadsheet also has monthly pay assuming a normal progression (which of course depends on upgrade time).

Last edited by samc; 05-04-2006 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:27 AM   #2  
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Mesa: 6-18 months (east coast), 6 years (west).
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:55 AM   #3  
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I upgraded in 2 years at Express, 03/04 hire.
If we find some flying for the 69, around 2 yr upgrades will continue, if they don't who knows, but it won't be good
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:39 PM   #4  
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Most Jr. Skywest EMB captain was hired 1/3/2005 (Fresno)
Most Jr. captain in the CRJ was hired 3/1/2004 (Chicago)
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:48 PM   #5  
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My bad, I'm just now noticing the Most Junior Captain thing back on the website. I assumed it meant that was the upgrade date. Man things look much better now... So please disregard all, I'll pull data from the website but if anyone has any updates on the cargo ops that would help.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:54 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc
My bad, I'm just now noticing the Most Junior Captain thing back on the website. I assumed it meant that was the upgrade date. Man things look much better now... So please disregard all, I'll pull data from the website but if anyone has any updates on the cargo ops that would help.
Happy to help, although if your scarfing the data off our site please share the results!

Cheers -
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:49 AM   #7  
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HSLD,

No problem, its nothing fancy I'll post it at the end of this thread when I've completed it.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:01 AM   #8  
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Don't forget all important BigSky. Any where from 4 months - 4 years. Currently about 9 months.
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:39 AM   #9  
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The problem with upgrade time in the regional industry is that its very unpredictable... todays stagnant company could get some new flying and they they will hire like mad and upgrade a bunch of people then people will go there looking for the quick upgrade and be on the back side of the curve and it will take them a lot longer to upgrade. Now they are bitter and ****ed becuase they were "promised" a quick upgrade.

Expressjet is a prime example..I worked there and dont get me wrong... great company and great people, what is about to happen there is typical. They had to furlogh after 9/11 with the Cal flow back and all... CAL took their people back and a bunch of new airplanes were showing up (they were always getting jets but they were also parking the props). So the exodus of senior people to Continental and massive aircraft delieveries made it look like the place to be, they hired 16 a week+ for probably 18 months to 2 years. The lucky forks who were on the leading edge of the wave just started upgrading in the past 3-4 months. For them the 2 year upgrade was a reality...but now The aircraft deliverys have stopped and there is not massive exodus to bigger and better things (yes people are leaving for CAL (like me) and JetBlue/Airtran et. al.) Now that the aircraft are all there they are only hiring for attrition for people leaving which has been exelerated with the whole 69 airplane thing.

But the reality of the situation are as follews in order of likely hood
1) If XJT keeps the 69 airplanes (flys them elsewhere) classes will be run at a trickle to keep up withe people leaving so if you are on the bottem of a 3000 pilot list that only moves 15 numbers a month. This is about an 6-7 year upgrade. (that assumes junior ca sits about 1700 on the list) Can you say American Eagle any one?

2) XJT loses the birds and they have to put people on the street. Not good. Assuming you keep your job upgrade isnt something that your going to have to worry about upgrade anytime soon.

3) Some how XJT find growth and and more airplanes show up....Go back to the start of this post and read over.

The moral is... Do go some where for a quick upgrade unless its somewhere that no one really wants to be for a long period of time (ie AirMidwest , Regions Air, Great Lakes), by the time you realize that Airline X is going to have quick upgrades and you get your self hired you are probably going to be on the back side of the curve.

Work for the place that lets you live at home and offers decent quality of life... Things may change in a few years when all the majors (except CAL) start hiring again but that is probably 3-5 years off.

Sorry to issue a sharp does of reality but this is life.
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:28 PM   #10  
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Flatspin,

That's good advice. I agree that with current hiring it appears many of the regionals won't have 2-3 year upgrades in the future. My priorities for picking a regional are
1. Stability- obvious
2. Subjective QOL feedback from places like this forum
3. Basing- I want to avoid east coast as a permanent base because $1600/month isn't much but it goes farther some places than others.
4. Pay - so far, factoring in current upgrade times, the average pay delta I've come up with is like $400 a month over 6 years. 3,000 vs 3,400 is not nearly enough for me to move my family someplace and/or risk anything. The cost of living variation between bases probably negates that number anyway.

I agree though, I won't be looking to take a job at a company I wouldn't want to work for for at least 7 years or until I'm 35. I know that is an eon in this buisness, I figure it's a moderate assumption. Either way, I've found that between hiring cycles and what jobs I'm actually offered I probably won't get much of a choice anyway...
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