Regional Jet Promotion

I’m Interested in learning which RJ promotes pilots through the fastest from FO to Captain. Is anyone willing to share their experience in moving up the ladder?


Upgrade times are always changing. I can only give you examples based on what I’ve seen.

Without any previous part 121 or 135 experience, you’ll need a minimum of 1000 hours 121 or 135 exp before becoming eligible. Once eligible, then your chances of upgrading depends on how many open slots there are and how many other pilots are bidding against each other for those slots. Seniority dictates who gets a slot.

I’m at Horizon and the fastest upgrade I’ve seen is 9 months, but this particular individual had prior 121 experience. The fastest upgrade I’ve seen for someone without prior experience was 15 months. Even still, each individual’s abilities are different. Just because an individual is eligible, doesn’t mean that they should upgrade. Being Captain is a big responsibility, and not everyone has what it takes to assume that role.



Not sure where you are in your training but obviously things can vary. You see Regionals bid for flying from the Majors and sign contracts for relatively brief periods of time (a few years). One Regional might undercut another in order to get more flying which means a busier airline which usually means more staffing and faster upgrades. What I’m saying is the airline with the shortest upgrade time today might not be in 2 yrs when you’re ready. Also as Tory said while everyone is anxious to upgrade you really should be equally concerned with being the best pilot you can be. Being Capt is easy until it isn’t and you’ll want some experience to back your decisions.