Military pilots

Hello, I was wondering whether or not military pilots who transition to commercial pilots have to start at a regional airline or can they go straight to the majors because of their military experience.


It depends. Some get hired on directly by the majors. Normally if they are currently flying when they separate or retire they have a much better chance of going direct.

If they are not currently flying, in a staff job, or just are not competitive for some reason, they can go to the regionals. Many pilots I flew with went and spent 6-12 months at a regional and then were hired by a major. Just enough time to get some current hours and 121 experience. It also eases the transition to the majors, from what I’ve heard.

Some airlines want a minimum of 100-200 hours in the last year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but you typically don’t get as many hours per month with military flying. I currently have about 70 hours in the last year due to my other work requirements and a lot of travel for meetings.


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