Regional Airline Association Statement on Republic Airways Bankruptcy
Washington, DC –The Regional Airline Association (RAA) stands in support of Republic Airways and its employees as the airline enters into the Chapter 11 process. Republic Airways has been forced to ground numerous aircraft due to a lack of qualified pilots available to be hired to fly for the airline. This shortage has translated into a loss of revenue that has ultimately resulted in a need to file for bankruptcy protection.
RAA President, Faye Malarkey Black, said that the problem of pilot supply is not limited to Republic Airways, but is endemic throughout the regional airline industry. As unprecedented numbers of major airline pilots reach mandatory retirement age, those airlines are hiring regional airline pilots at a rate that outpaces the supply of new pilots available to regional airline flight decks.
Said Black, “Base salaries for new hires have increased steadily and many airlines have even offered signing and retention bonuses to attract and retain pilots, yet the number of qualified applicants for jobs at regional airlines is far below demand.”
Black indicated that while regional airlines received ample applications last year from pilots qualified to Federal standards, far fewer were able to successfully withstand the regional airlines own screening and training process. As a result, regional airlines like Republic Airways can’t keep up with the loss of pilots flowing to mainline carriers.
“Something must be done to fix the broken pipeline of pilots, and it can and must be done while ensuring America’s skies remain the safest in the world.” The RAA urges policymakers to consider airline-based, safety-first proposals to reconnect the pilot pipeline, restore more career certainty to the profession, and ensure airlines may once again hire the most proficient pilots.
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable, and robust regional airline industry. The RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines, industry business partners, and government regulators in bolstering the industry; as well as promoting regional airline interests in a changing business and policy environment. With more than 11,200 regional airline flights every day, regional airlines operate 45 percent of the nation's commercial schedule.