Last updated: 12:49 PM ET, Fri July 29 2016

Piedmont Airlines Offers Pilots Enticing Deal

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | June 20, 2016

Piedmont Airlines Offers Pilots Enticing Deal

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Many small, regional airlines are losing pilots to their larger national and global counterparts.

Piedmont Airlines is trying to do something about that.

The Salisbury, MD-based wholly owned subsidiary of the American Airlines Group Inc. will pay a $15,000 signing bonus to all new-hire pilots, effective immediately. Piedmont employees will also collect $5,000 for every pilot they refer to the airlines who is eventually hired.

“We’re hoping that the $15,000 signing bonus will encourage more pilots to look at Piedmont as a career choice,”  Lyle Hogg, Piedmont Airlines president, and CEO said in a statement. “Piedmont offers a very quick upgrade from first officer to captain and a guaranteed job at American Airlines in a few years, so it’s a great career option. The $15,000 will help experienced pilots transition to Piedmont, and help new pilots pay off some student loans.”

READ MORE: American Airlines Making Major Frequent Flyer Program Changes 

Piedmont says its pilots enjoy “a generous benefits package including excellent health care and 401(k) with company match. Piedmont provides hotel rooms for commuting pilots and industry-leading flight benefits on American Airlines.”

The bonus to current employees who refer pilots is for those who are hired, pass training and stay with the company for six months.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of our employees to participate in our recruiting efforts,” Hogg said. “Any employee can recommend a friend or family member pilot through our Human Resources department and get rewarded with a bonus for doing so. It now means we have 7,000 people recruiting for Piedmont Airlines, and that’s exciting.”

But Paul Ryder, the resource coordinator for the Air Line Pilots Association and a pilot himself, isn’t so sure.

“The bonuses are short-lived and it’s not sustainable going forward in terms of recruitment and retention," Ryder told

Nonetheless, the regional carrier is pressing forward. Piedmont plans to hire more than 200 pilots in 2016. Piedmont will hold pilot information sessions and on-site interviews in Newark, NJ (Newark Airport Marriott) on June 23 and in New York City (JFK Courtyard Marriott) on June 24. Details are available online at

Pilots with questions about flying for Piedmont can email


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