MIAMI – Airline startup Breeze Airways is set to offer Pilots uncompetitive pay in comparison to the rest of the airline industry.

Before truly breaking down what Breeze Airways is set to offer, it is a good idea to understand a few basics about Pilot pay, including the fact that Pilots normally start out at regional carriers like SkyWest (OO) before progressing to major carriers such as American Airlines (AA).

Captains are also paid more than First Officers, with both being paid different rates per flight hours and airlines setting guaranteed monthly flight hours and thus guaranteed monthly pay.

Pay also usually increases based on the seniority of the Pilot, in essence the number of years they have been with the airline.

Photo: Breeze Airways

Uncompetitive Pay


Breeze Airways is set to operate a fleet of Embraer E195 and Airbus A220-300 aircraft, comparable to the Embraer 190 operated by JetBlue (B6) and slightly larger than the Embraer E170 operated by OO.

The initial hourly Pilot pay at Breeze Airways is set to be around US$55 for a first-year first Officer and US$94 for a sixth-year First Officer, US$117 for a first year Captain and US$143 for a sixth-year captain with 55 guaranteed monthly hours.

JetBlue, a major airline, on the E190 pays an hourly rate of US$89 for a first-year First Officer and US$130 for a sixth-year First Officer while paying first-year Captains US$192 and sixth-year captains US$203 with 75 guaranteed monthly hours.

Skywest, a regional airline, on the E170 pays an hourly rate of US$45 for first-year First Officers and US$59 for sixth-year First Officers while offering first-year Captains US$79 and US$91 to sixth-year Captains with 76 guaranteed monthly hours.

In essence, the prospective pay at Breeze Airways is uncompetitive as major airlines pay Pilots significantly higher to fly similar aircraft, placing the pay at Breeze more in line with that of regional airlines.


Featured image: Breeze Airways. Photo Courtesy: lonelyplanet.com