Going the Part 135/Cargo Route?

l’ve been interested in taking the path of carriers such as Empire Airlines or Ameriflight, for their pathways/guaranteed interviews to FedEx/UPS, but what happens if those pathways don’t workout? The turbine PIC time they offer sounds like it would be great for your resume, so would other legacy carriers consider hiring you because of that turbine PIC time, although it’s not part 121? Or does taking these pathways potentially close certain doors?

1 Like

It can be a great route, especially times like now. These cargo companies are mostly 121 flights still. Ameriflight I believe is the only dedicated 135op.

Although I haven’t looked through the entire Purple Runway Program (Mountain Air Cargo & Empire Airlines) in 2years, from a glance some things seem to have changed. They increased the minimums and looks like maybe length of commitment to the Regional Cargo Company before FedEx Interview. Also looks like they may have ditched adding a seat to Caravan to get 500hr pilots in SIC position.

Ameriflight is a good route with their interview with UPS. The B1900 also meets FedEx PIC hr requirements.

I drew up a white board with Ameriflight VS SkyWest when I was deciding in 2018. Ameriflight would upgrade slightly faster and meet FedEX PIC mins faster by about 6months. Due to Covid it would likely have been much faster as Upgrades at SKW have stalled for now.

I’d maybe say Delta probably won’t call an Ameriflight Capt, but they also have a deal with United through Aviate program.
IMO you can’t really make a wrong decision between one of these Cargo Regionals or Airline Regionals. Just get flying and stay flying.

Edit* ATP I believe has an interview process/deal with all these Cargo carriers mentioned. Also anything Multi-time probably counts more than Single Engine Turbine (For Majors at least).

Chris F

1 Like


From what I’ve seen, most legacy carriers want to see some actual turbine time other than turboprop. We’ve had many apply here at Hawaiian and they usually require them to fly for a Regional 121 carrier first.


1 Like


If you are looking at going the cargo route, I think these are great options. From what I have seen at the legacy passenger airlines, they really seem to prefer applicants that have jet time. It is not really a factor of the prior experience being part 121 or 135, but the quality of the airplane and the depth of experience.