New in the country - From South Africa


Part 135 does not have a mandatory retirement age of 65. You just need to maintain a first class medical. With that being said, at your age your best bet to have a good quality of life would be going to a regional and staying there for the course of your career. You’ll get senior fast and have your pick of a schedule. Or go the part 135 route.

I flew for a similar company prior to going to Skywest. Here are some key differences:

Part 135 v 121

  1. Schedule- most charter carriers do block scheduling. 8 days on/6 days off. No bidding, predictable and long blocks of time off. I wasn’t a fan of 8 days on. I prefer more of an airline schedule of 3/4 day trips followed by 2 days off. Bidding can be tricky, but it’s nice to have more control over your monthly schedule.
  2. Pay- initially much more lucrative. I was making regional captain pay as a first year FO. However over the course of a career, you’ll make exponentially more as an airline captain.
  3. Flexibility (home based)- since I don’t live in base, not having to worry about a commute was huge for my quality of life. Home based means you can live wherever you want and the company pays for your ticket to get to and from work.
  4. Daily tasks- It’s much easier to be an airline pilot. There is a team of people with tasks to make the flight happen safely and efficiently. Dispatchers do the brunt of the flight planning, rampers load bags, cleaners make the cabin presentable, flight attendants deal with customer service… pilots just fly the airplane. On the 135 side, there were no dispatchers, no ramp crew, no flight attendants, no cleaners. We were a “2-man band.” Typically the capt was responsible for the flight planning while I cleaned the cabin, weighed and loaded the bags, met the passengers, boarded and briefed them and served them in cruise flight.

Hope this helped.



Thank you so much for outlining this and taking the time to explain this so well. I am starting to get the picture :slight_smile:

Part 135 and 121 - ok, I see how this works, good to get someone’s perspective that has been on both ends of the stick. This definitely helps alot, especially painting the different scenarios between them.

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