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Piedmont Airlines announces employment relief for ExpressJet pilots under distressed carrier contract provisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 25, 2022

Seniority list pilots given longevity credit, bonuses and hire dates

SALISBURY, Maryland– Piedmont Airlines announced today that it will provide employment relief to seniority list pilots at now-defunct ExpressJet Airlines under Piedmont’s “distressed carrier” provision in its ALPA-negotiated pilot contract. The language, added to Piedmont’s pilot contract in 2021, allows the company to offer pilots at carriers deemed “distressed” a safe haven for employment, including longevity-based pay and bonuses. This is the first time Piedmont has addressed a distressed carrier since adding the contract language. Express Jet, based in Georgia, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and shut down operations for the second time in two years.

“Piedmont added distressed carrier language to its pilot contract last year before anticipating the fragility of some regional carriers after the pandemic,” said Matt Kernan, Piedmont’s Director of Operations.  “No one wants to see an airline fail, ever. We know that ExpressJet pilots are well-trained aviators who know the Embraer 145, and we are very pleased to make this transition as easy as possible for them.”

ExpressJet pilots can reach out to Piedmont through or to begin the transition process. All of Piedmont’s current new hire bonuses, pay and credits will apply to the transitioning ExpressJet pilots.

Piedmont recently announced the addition of 15 Embraer 145 aircraft to the fleet starting in October. “This is an opportunity to get these pilots significant pay and bonus increases, expedited job offers and in the process, help Piedmont grow its fleet,” said Kernan. “A pilot with five years’ experience can start at over $160 an hour.”

Details of the provision include:

  • Contractual flow to American Airlines
  • Expedited job offers
  • Positive space travel to Piedmont’s training center to complete or resolve any outstanding paperwork or background issues
  • Preferential training date
  • Assigned transition coordinator to expedite the hiring process
  • Longevity based pay and bonuses
  • $10,000 bonus for High-Time First Officers with 600 hours
  • $15,000 sign on bonus
  • $15,000 for Direct Entry Captains
  • $7,500 E145 type rating bonus
  • $15,000 after 12 months of active service
  • $30,000 Captain upgrade bonus
  • $40,000 Captain upgrade + 1 year bonus
  • $40,000 Captain upgrade + 2 year bonus
  • $25,000 flow to American bonus

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About Piedmont Airlines

Piedmont Airlines, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines, providing service both on the ground and in the air across the United States. Every day, nearly 9,800 aviation professionals foster a mission of caring, compliance and communication on and off the airfield.  Piedmont is headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland, and operates a fleet of Embraer 145 regional jets. Piedmont Airlines’ ground handling team can be found in more than 80 airports across the United States, providing award winning ground service to passengers of American Airlines. Learn more about what’s happening at Piedmont by visiting connect with Piedmont on Twitter @piedmontair and at