What's A Pilot Worth?...

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Wage Rates Vary On The Lines...

Given the climate of ensuing and/or continuing Chapter 11 filings among major carriers, a list of who pays what to fly which airplane becomes interesting and potentially volatile reading. Safely and routinely transporting many hundreds of passengers over many many hundreds of not always hospitable miles, ultimately translates to some monetary value and Airline Pilot Pay claims to track that value. According to the Web site www.airlinepilotpay.com (and with numbers "updated for 2004"), Delta pilots lead the pay-scale pack receiving $320 for every one of the 65 hours its most senior captains (12 years or more) watch the screens and otherwise command Boeing 777s. The lowliest of four-stripers make $212 per flight hour. According to the pay-scale numbers listed by Airline Pilot Pay (currently) successful airlines like JetBlue and Southwest don't go up quite as high, the pilots fly more hours and the two airlines fly one type each. Delta's bottom end is a flat $56 an hour for all first-year first officers, regardless of engine or passenger count, but it more than doubles after 12 months. A career FO can make up to $218 per flight hour. Northwest's range is $40 to $273 for 63 to 69 hours a month and Southwest ranges from $47 to $179 per hour but works its pilots 77 hours a month. Similarly, JetBlue ranges from $51 to $126 per hour, working its pilots a guaranteed 70 hours per month, according to Airline Pilot Pay.