Direct Entry at US majors

B737FLY

New Member
#1
Hello,

Brand new to the forum and hoping to get some guidance.

I am a US citizen, currently flying 737s in Europe. I moved right after flight school, since I was able to jump straight into a 737 FO position with a young and fast developing carrier. The whole plan was to upgrade, get hours and then return home. Problem is that despite the many articles written by Boeing on how the market will grow and there will be a severe pilot shortage... there seem to be zero signs of that in the US. The company I fly for is probably average, from an employee point of view, however I just miss the US and want to come home.

I skimmed through some old threads and it seems that the direct entry captain thing is somewhat taboo in the US. Is that still the case or are the big boys taking direct entry guys ( after their assesments are passed )?

My experience is 4000ish hours on 737 300 through 800 (all EFIS). PIC for the last 2 years, flying for 6 years.
Any advice/thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you all in advance.
 

Screaming_Emu

Cold Ass Honky
#4
I wouldn't see why your 4000 hours wouldn't count provided you have an ATP issued by the FAA.

I think you're going to catch a lot of flack for your terminology though. In the US the term "direct entry" is often used to describe someone who bypasses being a first officer and goes straight into the left seat. That doesn't really happen (nor should it) at the major level. I'm pretty sure you are simply describing someone who is hired "off the street" vs entering some sort of cadet training program. Might want to differentiate that for those who might be unfamiliar.
 

FlySooner9

Well-Known Member
#8
Almost all the regionals are right now if you have 1,000 pt 121 time. Even though some don’t officislly label it direct entry captains. They’re just awarding captain upgrades in new hire training.
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
#10
Hello,

Brand new to the forum and hoping to get some guidance.

I am a US citizen, currently flying 737s in Europe. I moved right after flight school, since I was able to jump straight into a 737 FO position with a young and fast developing carrier. The whole plan was to upgrade, get hours and then return home. Problem is that despite the many articles written by Boeing on how the market will grow and there will be a severe pilot shortage... there seem to be zero signs of that in the US. The company I fly for is probably average, from an employee point of view, however I just miss the US and want to come home.

I skimmed through some old threads and it seems that the direct entry captain thing is somewhat taboo in the US. Is that still the case or are the big boys taking direct entry guys ( after their assesments are passed )?

My experience is 4000ish hours on 737 300 through 800 (all EFIS). PIC for the last 2 years, flying for 6 years.
Any advice/thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you all in advance.
So far all anyone has actually seen is a shortage of pilots to work for low wages. Training departments at majors might be a bit overworked, but there is no shortage of applicant's at places that pay reasonable airline wages.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
#11
Direct entry captain at a major? About zero percent.

If you had prior 121 with a CRJ or Embraer type — maybe for a regional.

My friend who is a recruiter had spoken to a lot of Emirates and Qatar Airways widebody Airbus captains, and the ones that were hired are copilots with zero consideration for their previous captain experience.

If @scooter2525, with part 121 A320 time expected to be hired as a SouthernJets captain off the bat, I'd tell him to take a few aspirin and call me in the morning. :) Not acetaminophen because that's bad when you've been drinking.
 
#14
Thanks guys

Guess I gotta either change careers or get used to Europe... makes no sense to sacrifice 5/6 years just to maybe get a right seat at a major.

Thanks again to everybody who provided informative answers.
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
#17
Thanks guys

Guess I gotta either change careers or get used to Europe... makes no sense to sacrifice 5/6 years just to maybe get a right seat at a major.
This is literally the description of the typical airline regional career.
NickH is right. It’s what EVERY SINGLE applicant at a US major/legacy has done. A lot have spent even more time than that at a regional before making the jump. For all intents, your time spent in Europe will be lumped in with guys/gals who have spent the same amount at a regional/military. Nothing you have done sets you any higher or more desirable than them.

If you want to return to the US to fly, now is the time. Everyone else in your position seems to understand that even if you were hired as a DEC, you’d be the most junior captain, as every FO on the SL senior to you upgrades and condemns you to years of being on reserve. Not a pleasant prospect and QOL hit. US airlines assign trips by pilot bidding, in seniority order in category, not by assignment by management, as a lot of European airlines do.

Also, all these projections screaming about a pilot shortage is just bunkum.
 
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Selfmade92

Well-Known Member
#19
Thanks guys

Guess I gotta either change careers or get used to Europe... makes no sense to sacrifice 5/6 years just to maybe get a right seat at a major.

Thanks again to everybody who provided informative answers.
Right seat on Delta, UA or AA probably pays 1st yr the same as a Capt at Ryanair, 2nd yr by far more. That's if you get in with the majors.
 
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