Question on regionals with Pathway Programs

Hey, it’s me again. I’m currently getting my 4 year degree in aerospace and will have a flight dispatch certificate upon completion as a backup plan. I’ll have my CFI etc in about a year. Anyways I’m wondering when I’m looking at a regional after getting my 1500 if it’s better to look at ones that offer pathway programs, or stick with a regional that is contracted by all the legacy airlines (United, Delta, AA). I just want to know how true these pathway programs are, and I also do realize that regionals are just trying to recruit pilots by sounding the most appealing and offering these gateway programs. For example, commutair says they have the record of the quickest time for a pilot getting hired at United. I’m not picky on what base I am assigned to, I’m just wondering if I should look into a pathway airline or one that is diverse and appeals to all airlines such as republic or Skywest. Thanks.


Opinions will vary but I would look for the Regional that appeals to me most (bases, routes, equipment, pay) and worry about the Major later. Flows can be good but you have your degree and many pilots spend more time waiting for the flow call then those who advance on their own. The example you site is a good one. While CommutAir may have the record for shortest time, they make no mention of the details of who this individual is, who he knew, or whether he was part of a flow. I’d look to see where I’d be happiest now and deal with the future as it progresses.


Great advice. I’m still very young and have a lot of time to make myself as marketable as possible. Who knows some regionals might go under before I get to them in a couple years. Thanks again, Adam!


That should be the last thing you should consider when choosing a regional. The flow programs and pathway programs aren’t insignificant. There’s just so many senior pilots in them that a new hire wouldn’t be pulled up to the major for at least 5 years. And I’m being very optimistic. The point is, by the time you’re seniority number comes up, you could already be at a major if you just applied normally. Not saying that this will happen, but it’s likely.

If you do some research on the forum, Chris and Adam explain the fine print that flows can have too. They’re not as good as they seem.

I selected Horizon for their bases. Commuting is not fun. I’m very happy with my decision. Alaska recently created a Pathways Program for us. Still deciding if I want to do it. I have years to think about it since I’d be so far down the list.



I am starting to become a fan of the pathway programs. They seem to offer a consistent path to the majors. Just keep in mind though that they can be cancelled at any time.