Our Vice President of Flight Operations, Brad Sheehan, answers questions we’ve received through our social media channels. He answers the tough questions and shares how we’re making our airline better for our team members and the next generation of ExpressJet pilots.
What is ExpressJet’s upgrade time?
Brad: The future of ExpressJet is bright, especially for our new pilots. Pilots hired today will likely upgrade in four years with our current fleet plan, and any additional or extended aircraft will shorten it further.
What is the signing bonus at ExpressJet?
Brad: We currently offer a $7,500 signing bonus to CRJ or ERJ type-rated pilots. We offer our new hire pilots the best training in the industry, paid ATP CTP on-site, a mature contract that focuses on quality of life, and the best flow through to the majors of all regional airlines. I believe that when deciding where to build your career, it’s important to consider your future opportunity in the long term.
Are ExpressJet pilots hired by the majors without PIC time?
Brad: Yes. Almost half of our pilots who advance their careers to the majors each month are first officers, and the majors hire more ExpressJet pilots than any other regional. We are the largest United Express and Delta Connection carrier, have a solid safety and training record, and we’re one of the best performing regional airlines; the mainlines appreciate that.
How much does a first year pilot make at ExpressJet?
Brad: It’s no secret that first year pay for a regional pilot is lower than you’d like, but pay at ExpressJet is more than just minimum guarantee. For example, you’re paid for deadheads and cancellations, ExpressJet pays 70-75% of top medical plans to keep you and your family healthy, we share our operational rewards quarterly with our employee group and we have dozens of other perks for our people.
Is ExpressJet parking planes?
Brad: We’ve been working proactively with our mainline partners to restructure our fleet to make ExpressJet more profitable. While we are parking older, less profitable planes, we’ve doubled our American Eagle fleet to over 30 planes just this month.
Where are your crew bases?
Brad: ExpressJet has some of the most commutable and desirable bases in the country: IAH, ORD, CLE, EWR and DFW for our ERJ fleet, and ATL, DTW and DFW for our CRJ fleet. In several of our crew bases, we are the only regional carrier which means a lot in today’s world.
What does ExpressJet’s future look like?
Brad: We intend to hire and upgrade 40 pilots a month, which allows us to cut current upgrade time by more than half for those getting hired today. We are working out details around pathway programs and partnerships with leading flight schools, universities and other partners who recognize the value in both short- and long-term strategies. It will take some time for the pilot seeds we are planting today to grow, but we know they will and we will continue to be on the leading edge of innovation in this industry, ready for the next generation of pilots.
Why should I choose ExpressJet over other regionals?
Brad: Unlike many of our competitors who offer only speed, we represent one of the last few mature regional airlines. Certainly some will doubt our sincerity or capability, but we continue to trend in a positive direction and I believe that makes us a stable company poised to grow.
As each month this year goes by, our story gets stronger. ExpressJet is a stable, mature company that continues to exceed expectations and has a clear future in the industry. With a vision for our success and a plan to get it done, we have a bright future in the industry, and pilots joining our team will be poised to realize the career benefits of our success.
To learn more about a career at ExpressJet, visit www.expressjet.com/careers/pilots.