ATP Grads at Airlines

Airlines Are Starting to Hire Pilots Again: Wonder What They are Looking For?

Published Mar 9, 2010 on Pilot Jobs

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Several Airlines are hiring pilots now, with more to begin at various times this year. It is no mystery as to what they are looking for in successful candidates, as the airlines themselves are happy to tell us. American Eagle Airlines has a long history of hiring ATP Graduates and recently told us why they have hired so many and what they will be looking for as they begin to hire pilots again.


American Eagle’s Vice President of Operations Captain Jim Winkley shared his views with us, and ATP has shared his letter with pilots aspiring to fly for the airlines.

Although the entire letter is very informative, this part is particularly important:

    “The combination of these short-term and long-term factors will dictate American Eagle’s need for additional pilots in 2010 and beyond. During the last hiring wave from approximately 2004 to 2008, American Eagle recruited pilots trained by Airline Transport Professionals (ATP). These pilots demonstrated above-average success in new-hire training and continue to be valuable employees and safe, professional aviators. We attribute the success of the ATP pilot candidates to primarily three factors:

  • Regional Jet Standards Certification. ATP’s Regional Jet training program is a grueling airline preparation program that introduces general aviation-trained pilots to the rigors and pace of airline training. This reduces stress and improves performance in airline new-hire training.
  • Certified Flight Instructor Experience. Decision-making and leadership skills are essential for any commercial airline pilot, all of whom ultimately become Captains. Flight Instructors have valuable experience making those command decisions that ensure the safety of each flight.
  • Nationwide Multi-Engine Experience. The high performance and complexity of multi-engine aircraft requires a higher level of pilot skill and situational awareness. Pilots who have flown in a structured, airline-oriented environment among varying terrain, weather, and ATC conditions have a strong foundation on which to build experience beyond just hours in the logbook.
  • In summary, American Eagle anticipates strong demand for pilot hiring in the near future. Long- term trends favor continued pilot hiring as well. With ATP’s proven track record training well- qualified commercial multi-engine pilots, American Eagle looks forward to a continued pilot recruiting relationship with ATP.”, said Captain Winkley.

Other airlines are hiring now too or will in the relatively near future, and we will continue to share what recruiters tell us they think will distinguish the pilots that are hired in this new wave of pilot recruitment.

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