20 January 2010
Pay and working conditions for pilots have been an ongoing concern, especially in the last few years as airlines have eliminated benefits and lowered pay in order to remain competitive. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times published an article about pay and working conditions at regional airlines in the US, focusing on one pilot from regional carrier Pinnacle airlines, painted a picture of long workdays and a lifestyle that forces many pilots to commute hundreds or even thousands of miles from their homes to their airline, sometimes sleeping in their airline's crew lounge before performing their duties.
Pilot pay is a subject previously covered by AirSafeNews.com, and the LA Times illustrated the current economic reality by describing how the pilot in the story started as a first officer making $1,650 per month plus benefits, and now makes $28,000 per year, which turns out to be less than a Los Angeles bus driver.
Pinnacle, the airline featured in the LA Times article, is the parent company of regional carrier Colgan Air, which was the airline operating the aircraft involved in the fatal February 2009 Continental Connection crash in Buffalo.