Boutique Air

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boutiqueair-01aBoutique air is a part 135 operator utilizing Pilatus PC-12 and Beechcraft King Air aircraft.

Boutique Air started in 2007 as Shasta Flyers, a fire watch operation in Northern California utilizing Cessna 337’s. Boutique Air added its first PC-12 in 2012 and started doing charter flights. On July 15, 2014, Boutique Air started EAS service with its first route, DFW-Clovis, NM. January, 2015 saw BTQ flights start service from Silver City, NM to Albuquerque, NM. By the end of 2015, routes were added from Denver, CO to Alliance and Chadron, NE, as well as Phoenix, AZ to Show Low, AZ, and Merced CA, with service to LAX and OAK.

Image provided by Boutique Air.
Image provided by Boutique Air.

Although the PC-12 is certified for single pilot operation, Boutique Air utilizes a two crew operation for safety. All training for the PC-12 is done in house, with new hire training being accomplished in Denver. PIC’s are trained to a single pilot standard, both to increase safety, and to allow for any circumstances in which a single pilot crew may be advantageous. The ground training lasts 8 days, with 1 day off towards the end of the eight days to allow for some study time before the required testing.  Flight training is done in the aircraft, and consists of 5 training sessions, and then a Checkride. Training for the King Air is accomplished through Flight Safety International and lasts approximately 12 days at the Wichita, KS location.

Pilatus PC-12 just after night fall at KDEN. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Pilatus PC-12 just after night fall at KDEN. Photo provided by Boutique Air.

At Boutique Air, we believe that ‘Quality of Life matters!’ Boutique air offers excellent health insurance, and the employee premium is 100% covered by the company. We offer 12 days PTO in the first year Compensation for Captains is $62.50 a block hour with an 80 hour minimum guarantee a month ($60,000 a year minimum), and First Officers are compensated $25.00 a block hour with an 80 hour minimum guarantee ($24,000 a year minimum). Captains are given raises yearly on a bonus pay scale system that is paid out every 6 month interval. Boutique offers various upgrade incentives for those First Officers who have been with the company for at least 9 months.

At Boutique Air, we believe that ‘Quality of Life matters!’

Pilatus PC-12 Flight Deck. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Pilatus PC-12 Flight Deck. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Boutique Air’s ribbon cutting ceremony marking the start or service to Carlsbad, NM. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Boutique Air’s ribbon cutting ceremony marking the start or service to Carlsbad, NM. Photo provided by Boutique Air.

Boutique operates loosely on a 4/3 schedule. Though the schedule may not hold specifically to 4 days on, 3 off, this is to accommodate the maximum number of pilot requests. All base days off generally average out to what would be a 4/3 for the month. The schedule is built out for each pilot domicile month to month by our scheduling department.  Pilots submit requests to the scheduling department, and the schedule is custom built to accommodate as many requests as possible. Because of this, there is extra flexibility in how your days off are assigned, preventing you from having to take PTO unless you exceed the average days off per month.

N474SS in American Samoa, on its trip across the pacific after purchase. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
N474SS in American Samoa, on its trip across the pacific after purchase. Photo provided by Boutique Air.

Boutique is always seeking qualified candidates.

You can apply online at https://www.boutiqueair.com/pages/jobs.

SIC Requirements:

  • Commercial pilots license with instrument rating
  • First Class Medical

SIC Preferred Experience:

  • 500 hours total time
  • 6 months employment as a pilot
  • 50 hours turbine OR 75 hours instrument

PIC Requirements:

  • Part 135 IFR PIC Minimums
  • 200 hours turbine OR 150 instrument in flight (actual + simulated)
  • First Class Medical

PIC Preferred Experience:

  • PC-12 experience
  • Part 135 experience
On the Cover: Boutique Air’s youngest Captain, Michaela Spence, boards her passengers ahead of an impending storm. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
On the Cover: Boutique Air’s youngest Captain, Michaela Spence, boards her passengers ahead of an impending storm. Photo provided by Boutique Air.

Boutique Air prides itself on the ability to think outside the box and build a unique infrastructure of both Charter and Scheduled Airline Service. Boutique Air has operated at risk routes in the past and has also been heavily involved in Charter operations. The future of Boutique Air is most likely to include charter, increased scheduled service, and larger aircraft. Although Boutique Air will continue to build its single engine turbine aircraft fleet, the adventure into larger aircraft has already begun with the addition of the King Air 350’s. Boutique Air just announced an expansion of its King Air fleet, with additional King Air flying in DFW, LAX, and more flying in DEN. Boutique Air will now be paying for the CPT ATP course for each pilot awarded King Air 350 Captain. Additionally, the King Air is a $2500 raise from the PC-12 base pay. We are committed to being one of the best airlines to work for and will be offering ATP/Type rating options with the King Air 350. We will keep all of our PC-12’s and continue to grow as an airline.

The sky is the limit!

Boutique Air’s first King Air 350 preparing for it’s first flight. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Boutique Air’s first King Air 350 preparing for it’s first flight. Photo provided by Boutique Air.

Interview with Bryant West, Chief Pilot, Boutique Air


Pre Interview:

Craig: How do you select applicants to be brought in for an interview?

Bryant: Applicants meeting the requirements listed on our website are called for interviews.

A captain candidate must meet all Part 135 minimums if interested in the King Air position. A first officer candidate needs to have either 500 hours total or have six months experience. PC-12 or King Air time is not required, though it is preferred.

C: How critical is it to attend a job fair to get an interview?

B: We just started doing job fairs. If a candidate attends, it benefits them to have a face-to-face meeting with the recruiters so they can put a face to the resume. We have conducted on site interviews at job fairs for candidates that stand out.

C: What is the best way to prepare for an interview with your company?

B: Brush up on instrument rules and Part 135 regulations.

Interview:

C: Can you walk me through a typical day of interviews?

B: The majority of interviews are conducted over the phone. There are two rounds of interviews a candidate must go through, with the second being contingent on passing the first. Once both interviews are completed, the pilot is either offered a position with a base assignment or placed into our hiring pool if they are wanting a specific base that may not be open yet.

C: What kind of questions can an applicant expect to be asked?

B: Questions that will give the interviewer a sense of who the applicant is as well as how he or she might fit into our organization.

C: What are some of the biggest mistakes that applicants make during the interview process?

B: Applicants who ask about being based in a location where we do not have a base, such as Miami, or who ask us what kind of aircraft we fly. It shows the applicant isn’t as interested in the company because he or she has not done any form of research on us prior.

Pilatus PC-12 just after a quick shower and double rainbow. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Pilatus PC-12 just after a quick shower and double rainbow. Photo provided by Boutique Air.

Written test:

C: Is there a written or computer test?

B: No.

C: Is there a personality test?

B: No.

Simulator Evaluation:

C: Do you have a simulator ride?

B: No.

Post Interview:

C: Do you tell applicants they are hired in person that day?

B: We evaluate multiple applicants prior to offering a position. We offer positions once we have conducted multiple interviews, so we do not typically offer positions the same day.

C: How long do applicants have to wait to know if they are hired?

B: Time varies, however they should know something within a couple of weeks.

C: How soon can an applicant expect a class date after being hired?

B: The majority of applicants want to give notice to their current employer. With that in mind, we generally have at least two weeks between an offer and the start of class, in most cases longer.

General:

C: How many pilots does your airline expect to hire this year?

B: With the expansion we are having, it is difficult to say. A good estimate would be around fifty.

C: Do you have a hiring bonus? 

B: We do not offer a hiring bonus.

C: Does Boutique Air have a pilot referral program?

B: We take referrals from our pilots very seriously. Internal referrals carry a lot of weight when conducting the interview process.

Pilatus PC-12 preparing for a days work. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
Pilatus PC-12 preparing for a days work. Photo provided by Boutique Air.
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