“Let us be the solution to your New Year’s Resolution” was printed on the backside of a postcard I received in the mail. Huh? What resolution?
After reading the other side of the postcard, apparently my 2017 resolution is to be an underpaid professional pilot.
For kicks I clicked through to FlyCommutAir.com to see what my career goals really are. First up…the United Career Path Program.
“If you want to fly for United Airlines, CommutAir has a way to help you get there.”
If hired into the United Career Path Program (CPP) I’ll be on a “clear reliable path to a United Airlines flight deck.”Oh boy.
My Specific Goals
Apparently I desire to be a CommutAir First Officer that will earn $36 per flight hour with a 75-hour monthly guarantee. Being a pilot, I had to pull out my calculator to figure out I desire to earn at least $32,400 over 12 months after that sweet $15,000 signing bonus. Good thing my goals aren’t too lofty.
Even better, another goal of mine is to be based out of Newark, New Jersey (EWR) or Dulles, Virginia (IAD). Can’t wait to see what the crash pads look like.
I know why CommutAir sent me a postcard. I have a pilot certificate and a heartbeat. Oh, and there is a much-discussed shortage of pilots.
But whenever I think about the “pilot shortage,”I think about my freshman Economics 101 class.
As I see it, there isn’t a shortage of pilots. After all, the population of pilots in the United States is near 600,000. That’s a lot of pilots.
But…the number of pilots (supply) willing to fly a Bombardier Q200 from EWR or IAD for $32,400 a year is likely much, MUCH smaller. Thus the postcard.
Using a simple Supply vs. Demand chart, start in the lower left of the supply line. As the price (compensation) increases along the Y axis, the supply of pilots interested in flying a Q200 will increase. Simple.
Of course, as the cost of labor increases, so will ticket prices. If ticket prices go up too much, demand for tickets will decrease. Thus decreasing the need for more pilots.
Finding equilibrium (while also profitable) is the goal. The theory is rather simple to understand. Putting that theory into practice, not so simple.
While I’m flattered (heavy sarcasm) to receive a “Let us be the solution” postcard from CommutAir, it doesn’t feel like opportunity to me. It smells like desperation.
Granted, I’m a 46 year old with a great wife and three kids. If I were 22 and single, who knows?
In the meantime, I’m going to decline your offer CommutAir. Thanks all the same. Good luck in 2017.