Regional vs LCC

Hi there,

I’m wondering if anyone could provide some pros and cons between getting in with an LCC straightaway out of ATP vs a regional. I see that ATP has partnerships with Frontier, Avelo, and others. Are the LCCs tougher to get into right away? Do they pay more? Is it tougher to move from an LCC to a major than it is a regional that has a flow to a major? Any other comparisons between the two options would be greatly appreciated.



Great questions.

  1. Traditionally LCCs were much harder to get hired into and usually required more time and experience than the Regionals. While the Regionals would hire you at 1500hrs, the LCCs often wanted to see much more (3000+). The pilot shortage has hit all the airlines hard and forced the LCCs to lower their mins.

  2. While the Regionals have definitely upped their pay recently and have created some great bonuses and incentives, the LCCs do pay more long term.

  3. Not at all. The Majors want well trained and experienced pilots. Provided you meet their mins, you’ll do fine moving up from either a Regional or an LCC.

ATP new flows with the LCCs is really pretty remarkable. As I said in the past you’d have to spend a few years at a Regional before an LCC would even look at you. This is a tremendous opportunity and if it were me I would lean towards the LCC mainly because if things slowed at the Majors you could comfortably stay at an LCC longer, maybe for life.



Funny, I was just talking with somebody from ATP the other day about how the Direct programs to the LCCs surprisingly do not get mentioned very much on here, then you bring it up :slight_smile:

The LCCs are a bit more competitive than the regionals, a degree helps with the LCCs, but is not required. They are now hiring lower time pilots, so they expect them to present and interview well. But no, the barrier is not much more to the LCCs than it is to the regionals.

The LCCs pay considerably more than the regionals over the course of several years and perhaps even more importantly, are a place your can comfortably make a career at.

The majors love hiring pilots from the LCCs. Typically those pilots are flying the same airplanes as the majors, so the transition is easy.

While the LCCs can be a great place to have a career, they generally lack any sort of long haul international flying, which is one of the primary things that draws people to the traditional majors. Now JetBlue is flying to London, but that is still on an A321 and not a wide body.


Thanks for the responses Chris and Adam. It was good to hear your perspective because I was wondering if I was missing something obvious, but the LCC route definitely seems appealing to me if it’s doable.

1 Like

It would be appealing to me as well. Make sure that when you are in ATP’s program, you let the Career Services department know that you are interested in going this route.

1 Like