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Piedmont offers a soft landing for pilots in distress

Concierge onboarding, low-stress AQP training and better work rules help pilots transition

SALISBURY, Maryland- End of summer turbulence is real, and it is affecting pilot careers.

“We are watching other airlines lose contracts, sell off airplanes, have their top executives leave and struggle to complete their schedules. It can be jarring for a pilot if you think your company isn’t on stable ground,” said Eddie Leverton, Vice President of Piedmont Airlines Flight Department. “We ran a very successful pilot transition program last summer for Express Jet pilots who lost their jobs, and we thought, why not do something similar for any pilot who feels like their current situation is unstable?”

The “soft landing” includes all new hire bonuses and longevity pay credits offered by Piedmont, includes a dedicated concierge coordinator to make sure the transition goes smoothly, and an opportunity to speak with a chief pilot to make sure Piedmont is a good fit. Pilots bring their years of longevity from a previous carrier to start higher on the Piedmont pay scale and go through one of the best AQP training programs in the country. “And we know the biggest drawback for pilots changing companies is sitting on reserve forever,” adds Leverton. “At Piedmont, that just won’t happen, we have a contractual guarantee that ensures that after just a couple of months Captains are able to choose to sit long-call reserve and additional provisions ensure that a commuting Captain on reserve will never need a crash-pad.”

The benefit to pilots is a lucrative, low risk job change. Piedmont benefits as well. “We need (these pilots’) experience and their ability to provide leadership in the flight deck,” says Chief Pilot John Pursell. “Even if they have been out of Part 121 flying for a while, we know our low stress AQP training will provide all of the tools they need to return successfully.”

“As Piedmont continues to grow its fleet of aircraft, we are encouraged by the interest we are getting from pilots and other professionals who want to join Piedmont,” said Leverton. “Many on our Fight leadership team came from other airlines, so we know how important it is to offer as much support as possible during the transition and training.”

Details of the “soft-landing” program include:

  • Eligible pilots earn $175,000 or more in bonuses in your first year
    • New $50,000 Type Rating Bonus for experienced pilots type rated in E135/140/145
    • Experience Bonus $100,000 for direct entry captains (950+ hours)
    • Experience Bonus $75,000 for high time first officers (500+ hours)
    • Unlimited DEC & HTFO Referral Bonuses $25,000 (DEC) or $20,000 (HTFO)
  • Benefit from new reserve rules: once a Piedmont Captain completes 250 hours, they are placed on long-call reserve (a minimum 12-hour call-out), offering more predictability and flexibility. No more sitting at the airport.
  • Industry leading medical benefits at affordable rates
  • Expedited job offers
  • Opportunity to speak with a chief pilot during the job offer stage to make sure Piedmont is a good fit
  • Positive space travel to Piedmont’s training center to complete or resolve any outstanding paperwork or background issues
  • Preferential training date and AQP training support
  • Assigned concierge coordinator to expedite the hiring process
  • Longevity based pay, vacation and bonuses including captain pay starting at 750 Captain qualifying hours
  • New contractual work rules including 12 days off per month and holiday pay
  • Flow to American Airlines in five years or paid top of scale until flow

Pilots can reach out to flight recruiting team through or email to begin the transition process. Leave the turbulence of your current carrier behind and stabilize your career with Piedmont Airlines. Questions? Check out our FAQ page or go ahead and APPLY NOW.

About Piedmont Airlines

Piedmont Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland. Piedmont operates 250 flights per day with a fleet of Embraer 145 regional aircraft, providing passenger service into American Airlines hubs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Charlotte, North Carolina. Piedmont’s award-winning ground handling team provides safe, reliable ground service to American Airlines passengers in 80 cities across the United States. Piedmont employs over 10,000 aviation specialists from coast to coast.