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Competitors seek pilots from distressed airlines

With the pandemic effectively taking away the livelihood of pilots, many airlines struggled to stay afloat. And even though life in America has slowly returned to normal – people booking travel plans and aspiring student pilots gearing up for flight school, the same cannot be said for many airlines.


Not only has the pandemic negatively affected pilots and those working in airlines but it has also affected airlines in general, even the major ones. But it’s the regional ones that have difficulty bouncing back. Recently, ExpressJet Airlines declared bankruptcy, leaving hundreds of people unemployed.


For the pilots, however, there is nothing to worry about! Days later after their airline declared bankruptcy, the ex-ExpressJet Airlines pilots were offered jobs by Piedmont Airlines, a regional airline based in Maryland and subsidiary of American Airlines. They didn’t even have to go
through interviews. Accordingly, these pilots are to be given conditional job offers based on their level of seniority, established in Piedmont’s pilot contract. This said contract was established in 2021 with the assistance of Airline Pilots Association, the largest pilot union in the world. This allows Piedmont Airlines to offer a “safe haven for employment” for pilots at “distressed” carriers.


“Distressed” is another way to put “bankruptcy.” Regardless, Piedmont Airlines isn’t the only one offering jobs to the pilots from ExpressJet Airlines. Offers have come from American Airlines subsidiary Envoy Air who also have the “same provisions” as Piedmont Airlines, according to Ric Wilson, Vice Presidident of Flight Operations from Envoy Air.


It’s a shame that ExpressJet Airlines had to declare bankruptcy, especially when the Atlanta-based airline operated over 450 aircrafts during its peak. The reason why the company ceased operations was due to several factors, such as rising costs, lower revenue and stifled growth.

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