Regional vs Corporate?

Hi everyone, I’m currently flying part 135 in Alaska and will have my 1500hrs by October. My question: is it quicker to get Turbine time from Corporate than from the Regionals? It seems like the first yr at the Regionals may be a lot of reserve time and then only 200-300hrs a yr!? Wereas Med flights or Corporate I wouldn’t think would have reserve time?
I’m 57 and can’t afford 2-4 yr’s at the Regional’s if it would be possible to get 500 hrs Turbine at a part 91/135 and then go straight to 737/767 Cargo for the quickest real money??
Can Anyone share recent experiences with Contract length and annual flt time Regionals vs Corporate??

  • Thanks, Goose


That entirely depends on the Regional and the Corp gig. What I can tell you is the airlines aren’t hiring like crazy and paying record salaries/bonuses to pilots so they can sit around flying 2-300hrs a year. If you look at Hannah’s SkyWest schedule she’s averaging 80hrs/mos. Conversely while I’m sure some Corp pilots fly a ton, there’s others who don’t.

You really need to get specific and ask that question to the employers you’re looking at.


A lot can go into how many hours you fly monthly/ yearly. I have a friend that works for PSA, he’s only flown around 300 hrs in the last year while on reserve. But 6 months ago, he could of went to a different base and held a line. And been flying 75+ hours a month, it all depends on the individual and what they desire.


In my experience, airline pilots fly significantly more than corporate pilots do. I just spent the last month on reserve and flew 85 hours, most reserve pilots seem to have similar experiences.



Part 135 varies drastically depending on what kind of flying it is. I hear cargo/air medics fly a ton. When I few for a charter company, I only flew about 50-60 hours a month. While at the regionals, once becoming a line holder I average 80-90 hours a month. While on reserve you don’t fly much but there is so much movement at all the regionals you won’t be on reserve long.


I flew Part 135 Charter for 4 years. A busy year was 400 hours and a busy month was 60 hours. I’m sure some fly more than that but the more I talked with others while at the FBO it seemed most did around the same unless they flew for the bigger outfits like NetJets or FlexJets. Also, at 1500 hours you could possibly skip the regionals and go straight to a ULCC. There are several in my new hire class for the A320 that left flight instructing in a 172 for the airlines.

Great, thank you ALL for the comments and advice!
One of my big considerations is that I only have 7 yrs left to fly for the airlines (unless the aga limit gets bumped up,) so I can’t really afford spending 4 yrs at a Regional (2 as FO and 2 as Capt) before moving on to the Majors.
I guess most Regionals don’t make you sign a training contract anymore, but I’m sure they won’t like it if I just stay 1 yr to get 500hrs turbine time and then leave for ATI, NAC, etc, but that would probably be my best chance of getting into a 767 where I could fly international and make decent $$$ within a couple years!?!

  • Goose

In the past two months most regionals have drastically raised their first year pay to unbelievable levels (matching first year pay at Majors/Legacies like Frontier and American). There is money to be made at the regional level right now. They’re also hurting for pilots so bad I don’t have a single friend that sat reserve longer than a couple months. I also have a friend that flew Caravans around the Bahamas for a year and he’s now flying the 767 for a cargo operator. I’m not interested in cargo so I haven’t done my research but I will say I don’t know of one operating a wide body fleet that isn’t a 121 operation and still subject to the age 65 rule.