How much more difficult is it to fly for a cargo carrier like FedEx for example vs your minor and major airlines?
FedEx IS a Major airline. In fact it’s considered to be one of the best. As such it can be challenging to get hired there. They require a fair amount of time and experience.
Oh ok. I figured they fell under a different category because they aren’t carrying passengers.
Nope, and business is still booming during the pandemic.
FedEx and UPA are highly desirable jobs to obtain, right on par with the Deltas and United’s of the world, if not harder.
That is disappointing to hear.
No, it is great to hear. It means that those are desirable, well paying jobs.
Would it be as difficult to land a position just flying Cessna Caravans for FedEx?
No, not at all. Those Caravans for FedEx are flown by various regional airlines and as such, the jobs are easier to get.
Thanks for your response, Chris. I am thinking on starting a career in aviation, but am a late bloomer (40 years old). I do have my private, around 190 hours logged, and a tailwheel endorsement. I live in San Antonio now and am wondering what would be your recommendation to pursue a position such as this. It would not have to be specifically for FedEx.
FedEx uses a number of carriers around the country as feeders. Most require at least 1200hrs and a variety of other qualifications (see the link for an example from Empire). You’ll need your CPL, IR and ME plus the time. FedEx even has a pathway to fly for them (Purple Runway) if that were your goal.
Purple Runway I believe is a guaranteed interview after meeting hour requirements and time commitment at Empire Air or Mountain Air Cargo.
I know both feeders were setting up a Low Time Pilot SIC position in Caravan (not sure if it ever fully rolled out). It was something like 500hr for Caravan SIC. 1200hr for Caravan PIC. 1500hr for ATR SIC, 2500hr for ATR PIC.
I stuck with Regional because Pre COVID we flew more. FedEx Feeders were Avg 50hr/month… which meant it took long time to get hours & upgrade. Now a cargo feeder is probably just as fast and includes the interview.
My father has been at FedEx for 20+ years. Always been a solid company. They can’t fly enough right now (all the OT you want).
JR pilots can have a better QOL than back in the day. It used to be JR pilots would only get bad trips and/or backside of clock flying. My understanding is scheduling has improved and JR pilots have more options now.
FedEx used to really favor military pilots. Over the last decade they have broadened their standards to pilots with a solid educational & flying background. Internal Recommendations have weight as well.
40yr old could potentially get 10-20yrs at a Major. Avg pilot in US makes $125,000/yr. Probably won’t break $75k 1st 5yrs but after that lots of opportunities open up.
To pursue any flying position, you will need to get the same ratings and certificates. There really is no magic recipe here, just get the licenses, get the hours and apply.
I appreciate the information. Thanks Chris!
Do you need a 4 degree to work for Empire airlines? Or just a 2 year degree?
No degree is required for Empire.
Well that’s good news, Thank you.