Real Answers from Real Pilots

Airlines after covid19

Hello everyone, my name is Rita I wrote one time here and I’ve been following up with the latest news about the airlines industry . Quick reminder about me, I was a flight attendant in my home country for 6 years, I moved to LA a year ago and I am looking forward to enroll in ATP this year .
I just saw the news that United launched a plan to cut at least third of its pilot and the airline’s chief pilot warned that unless travel demand rebounds this summer much stronger than they anticipate, a lot more pilots could be pushed into the unemployment lines, along with corresponding numbers of mechanics, flight attendants, ground workers, administrative staff and managers…
Recently I saw many of you encouraging us to still enroll in atp because obviously many pilots will retire soon and need to be replaced .
On the other hand Ive seen an article of a new airlines seat designs, they are spaced out with hygienic barriers,or saddle-style standing seats to cram more passengers on a flight which it gave me a bit more hope how the industry is coping with the threat .
I would love ur opinions . I am lost !

Rita,

As we’ve said (and as you’ve observed) we’re all still bullish on the industry. Yes right now things are rough and this is a pretty significant roadblock. Frankly it’s not a good time to be looking for flying jobs or sitting at the bottom of a seniority list. But that has little to do with the literally tens of thousands of pilots who will be retiring. Even if UA goes with their projections that’s around 4,000 pilots which is terrible but that still won’t put a dent in the retirements. I believe there will be some furloughs and downgrades but they will be temporary. Those who can hang on will be invited back and those who train now will find jobs in the years to come.

This industry is cyclic. There are always highs and lows and people who will predict gloom and doom. People will not stop flying, they can’t and we will recover.

Adam

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Rita,

Obviously I would advise everyone to make their own decisions, but yes, I am still encouraging aspiring pilots to not delay their training because delaying would only put you further behind everyone else ahead of you. Plus, it will be two years at the earliest before you will have enough flight experience to fly for a regional. So, you’re looking at applying in 2022 or 2023. I can’t see into the future, but I’m optimistic about the airlines’ recovery 2-3 years from now. So, if you can, and you’re sure that this is the right career path, go for it. But of course, like I said from the beginning, it’s your decision.

Tory

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Rita,

I fly for United and have of course seen all of that as well. While it certainly is not good news for the airline, I am glad to see that they have a plan in place to stem the cash flow.

I would still encourage you to pursue your career goals. This Covid situation will pass sooner rather than later and the industry will rebound. What is happening now is painful, but short term.

I don’t think we will be switching aircraft configurations anytime soon, there will be a vaccine or some sort of cure long before we could reconfigure all of those airplanes.

Either way, I would not let this delay your goals and your training.

Chris

Thank you Chris . It’s good to hear back :blush:

I Highly appreciate what u have said .
Thank you Adam . You are a straight forward and honest person, I see your posts all the time and I’ve learned a lot through it.

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Thank you Tory :pray: you guys are doing a great job here .

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I saw that United began the displacement bloodbath, how did this affect you in any way? I believe that Captain went all the way up to pre-9/11 hires for LUAL pilots, and mid 2000s for LCAL pilots. Are you still a 4 striper, and how does this affect your flying?

Dan,
the bid has not closed yet, but I am getting displaced from Captain back to First Officer. I have the choice of 787 FO or 737 FO, I chose the 737. I will be much more senior on the 737 and once all of the settles out, have some pretty good schedules and destinations. I am not thrilled about it, but am glad to still have a job and finally switching my base to IAD.

Chris

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Dang I’m sorry to hear that but as you said, I’m happy to hear that you’re still flying. Its crazy to me how much I overhear flight students complaining about how the “Zombie Apocalypse” (credit to Adam) is affecting them. I’m like, “there are people who got let go from training, put on reserve, downgraded, etc, and you complain about your checkride being pushed back a month or not being able to do practice approaches because there is one person working multiple frequencies.” Sorry not trying to sound grumpy haha. Quick question though, if I remember correct, you are typed in the 73. So do you have to go through a full type course (with lack of better words) or will your training be abbreviated? Thanks and have a good one.

Al,

Thanks for the concern, but I am okay with it. I am looking forward having a better schedule and more control over the trips I get. I do have a 737 type rating, but as it has been more than two years since I last flew it, I will have to go through the full training course again, I just will not need to have a type rating issued at the end of training. The training does not bother me, it will be good as I need to reprogram myself for the 737.

By the way, I like your attitude, it will serve you well in life.

Chris

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What’s happening to the excess first officers at United?

Nick,

Nothing has been determined yet. Right now the company is hoping that traffic rebounds soon and that there will be a need for all of our pilots.

Chris

But… but the 787’s so beautiful :worried: :worried:

Seriously though, hope that it all works out for you, and there’s always an upside to everything. Calhoun (CEO of Boeing) said that he expects one of the major airlines to close their doors on the other side, but they can’t do anything right now, so it’s kinda pointless to beat this horse right now since the CARES Act essentially turned on the Pause button in the US, and who know’s what things’ll be like in October. Plus, doesn’t the 737 do the transcon and Caribbean trips at UA? And I’m guessing that Dulles is much easier than Newark to commute to.

Forgive me for being cynical, but I am not currently placing much credence in anything that comes from Boeing. I think Calhoun should be more concerned with getting the 737 MAX back up in the air.

At UAL we do use the 737s for transcontinental flights as well as Caribbean trips. I was actually thinking of switching to the 737 anyways, but as a Captain. I will be very senior as an FO though, so I am looking forward to having holidays and weekends off along with summer vacation weeks.

Chris

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