Piedmont Offering Laid Off Pilots Jobs Without Interviews


Piedmont Airlines is offering jobs to pilots laid off by a bankrupt carrier sight unseen. The Maryland-based regional says it won’t even interview the pilots who lost their jobs when ExpressJet went under recently. In an announcement it said it has no qualms about beefing up its ranks with the suddenly unemployed pilots and it’s confident they’ll fit in seamlessly. “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.”

Piedmont is invoking the “distressed carrier” provision in its contract with the Air Line Pilots Association. The language was added in 2021 and allows Piedmont to offer a “safe haven” for pilots left jobless by business failures. ExpressJet, based in Georgia, recently ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Piedmont has 15 E145s, and any ExpressJet pilots who come over will likely get a raise. “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 Director of Operations Matt Kernan. “A pilot with five years’ experience can start at over $160 an hour.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. No job interview? What’s next. No background check? No flight physical? Just jump into the left seat…..

    • They’ll still have to go through Piedmont’s training program. Don’t know about Pt121 but Pt135 you just can’t move to another certificate without that holder’s training program completed.

    • Jealous are you, Karr..?
      It’s more likely they had 3 crews per airplane,…and most of those will likely find jobs at larger carriers fairly easy….the Majors are short and the ExpressJet guys/gals already had background and security checks. They’ll be in good shape if they can survive in the short term while making the transition.
      Kudos to Piedmont for smart and business-like thinking.

    • No airline in the US does flight physicals, however the 1st class medical is required by the FAA, to operate 121. You being a hot shot private pilot should know that some of this.. And to clarify any place you want to rent an aircraft is going to give a checkout, its generally required by insurance, on top of making sure you can actually fly.

      Having been an XJT pilot for 14 years, furloughed for 2yrs, now (thanks covid and Kirby), not having to jump through hoops like an interview is nice. Not all the pilot’s they pickup will have the option for the left seat unless they have to time to jump in the left seat.. hell I still considering coming out of a cushy work from home, back to flying because of their offer, and being on the training side. Its a lot of money, more than 1st year AA, United, even Delta, even for the short term of the temporary contract in place.

  2. I am not jealous at all. I am just pointing out the possible repercussions of hiring someone basically sight unseen. In any profession. I mean, after getting my PPL, I left the airport I trained in, transferred to another airport, and had to pass another flight test. That was just to rent an aircraft. I wasn’t flying with 100 people sitting behind me. These pilots are….

  3. It seems to be a little desperate to be hiring pilots sight unseen. Hopefully they will at least conduct background checks.