Airline of Choice for Florida, Bahamas and Cuba Leading the Industry with Innovative Pilot Pathway Programs
Silver Airways is leading the industry with numerous innovative partnerships and a robust compensation program, all designed to provide men and women interested in pursuing a pilot career with the necessary tools and opportunities to make their dream a reality by removing many of the career uncertainties that pilots face as they begin their airline careers, as well as pathway programs to ensure long-term career progression.
“Pursuing a professional pilot career is as challenging today as it has ever been,” says Silver Airways President and CEO Sami Teittinen. “Being able to offer a greater degree of certainty to a new pilot as he or she considers a pilot career is a big deal. Silver has numerous programs that provide the opportunities for pilots to advance their careers.”
State of Florida, Embry-Riddle and Florida-Based Silver Partner to Provide Educational and Financial Support and Career Pathway for Pilot Jobs
In a continuing effort to find solutions for the national professional pilot supply shortage, as well as support Florida’s aviation economy and future, the State of Florida, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Florida’s hometown airline Silver Airways are partnering to offer financial assistance, additional training opportunities and a direct pathway to jobs at the Florida-based carrier.
The Professional Pilot Apprenticeship/Internship (PPAI) Grant program, a collaborative initiative launched by the State of Florida, Embry-Riddle and Silver Airways, focuses on increasing the level and number of potential pilots coming to the state to earn their undergraduate degree and professional pilot certifications.
According to the 2016 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook report, between now and 2035, the aviation industry will need to supply more than two million new aviation personnel worldwide including 617,000 commercial airline pilots – 112,000 in North America alone. Recent reports produced by the Department of Transportation state that airlines are carrying nearly 900 million passengers in the United States in 2015, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.
The grant, which could be offered to as many as 60 students, will require completion of an undergraduate degree at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla., Campus, and after satisfying academic and training qualifications for the grant would serve as flight instructors at the university. The grant then provides opportunities for these students to be offered jobs as professional pilots at Fort Lauderdale-based Silver Airways which operates more routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas than any other airline.
Money to support the program is from a $2 million grant to the university approved earlier this year by Florida Governor Rick Scott’s 2016-17 Florida First budget. A top priority of the Florida First budget is investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields to prepare students in K-12 and colleges in the state for jobs in high-demand areas. Programs such as PPAI reiterate the state’s goals of making Florida first in job creation as well as attracting and retaining the most skilled and diverse workforce.
All designated funds will be used to cover costs to the students, including certifications – Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII), Multi Engine Instructor (MEI), Airline Transport Pilot/Certification Training Program (ATP/CTP) – as well as hourly rates for the rental of aircraft, fuel, flight training devices (FTD), full flight simulators (FFS), all instructional materials and tests.
“As a global leader in aviation and aerospace higher education, Embry-Riddle is proud of its reputation for providing world-class, all-encompassing and comprehensive degree programs for our future pilots – and that includes the vital skills they need to be successful in their careers by offering the best in hands-on training in and out of the classroom,” said Embry-Riddle Interim President Dr. Karen A. Holbrook. “An initiative such as this reflects the unfailing commitment by the State of Florida, the aviation industry and higher education to instill valuable, affordable and quality skills, knowledge, experience and opportunity to its future.”
“This Professional Pilot Apprenticeship/Internship Grant program is yet another example of Silver’s innovative initiatives to provide opportunities for pilots to advance their careers.”
“This partnership with the State of Florida, Embry-Riddle and Silver Airways will provide students eager to become pilots with the financial support and a solid career pathway to fulfill their dreams and allow aviation to continue to thrive in our home state,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Sami Teittinen. “This Professional Pilot Apprenticeship/Internship Grant program is yet another example of Silver’s innovative initiatives to provide opportunities for pilots to advance their careers.”
Benefits of the program extend beyond the immediate need to increase the quality and number of entry-level professional pilots in Florida. Expected future outcomes also include improving safety standards, reducing pilot turnover, and strengthening the airline industry in the State of Florida as a whole.
Silver Airways – Frontier Airlines Pilot Career Program
Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines have a pilot hiring partnership to facilitate pilot career path needs. As part of the Frontier Career Pilot Program, the mutually beneficial relationship guarantees pilots entering Frontier’s Career Pilot Program a first officer position with Frontier upon completion of defined experience requirements.
Under the partnership, Silver and Frontier work together in recruiting and interviewing new pilot candidates. Once selected, the pilot needs to remain employed by Silver Airways, upgrade to captain, and build at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time. Once these and other conditions are met such as dependability metrics and a letter of recommendation from Silver Airways, Frontier will guarantee that the pilot will transition to Frontier as a first officer on a seniority basis.
“With forecasted retirements, it’s no secret that the demand for highly qualified pilots will grow over the next several years,”
“This career path program is an exciting opportunity for Silver Airways and its pilots,” said Silver Airways Chief Pilot Brandon Press. “The professional pilot job market is rapidly evolving and this will put Silver Airways and Frontier in a highly competitive position, while offering current and future pilots a solid path to a career with a major airline.”
“This program and our partnerships with these highly regarded and respected regional airlines will become an important element of Frontier’s overall strategy to fulfill our pilot staffing needs in the future,” said Jim Nides, Frontier’s vice president-flight operations.
“With forecasted retirements, it’s no secret that the demand for highly qualified pilots will grow over the next several years,” said JP Thibodeau, Frontier’s chief pilot. “This new partnership helps address our future pilot staffing needs while providing pilots entering the workforce a certainty for their careers.”
Pilots who currently fly for Silver Airways will also be eligible and encouraged to participate in Frontier’s Career Pilot Program.
An Attractive Compensation Package
In addition to it numerous recruiting programs, Silver Airways also offers a robust compensation package, including competitive salary, a $12,000 hiring bonus; $2,500 pilot referral bonus for current employees who refer new pilots; fast upgrade time from First Officer to Captain; and pilot bases with day trips in desired Florida destinations, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.
About Silver Airways
Silver Airways was launched in December 2011 as a United Express carrier operating with 21 Beech 1900D aircraft. In just a few short years, the airline has become fully independent with its own Sabre reservation system as of June 2013, and its growth has continued. The airline completed a fleet upgrade to newer, larger, more advanced and fuel efficient Saab 340B Plus aircraft, and has continued to develop its network throughout Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba. Today, Silver operates more routes in Florida, between Florida and the Bahamas, and to Cuba than any other airline.
Silver has built and continues to grow its network of airline partners, which today includes codeshares with JetBlue, United Airlines, and Avianca, as well as interline agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, Azul Brazilian Airlines, and All Nippon Airways. In June of this year, Silver was awarded historic approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to officially begin operating regularly scheduled flights between South Florida and Cuba. Silver was one of the first U.S. airlines to begin regularly scheduled service to Cuba in over 50 years and is the only U.S. airline awarded the right to serve all nine Cuban destinations beyond Havana.
Today Silver Airways averages over 120 daily flights to 26 destinations in Florida (including hubs in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa) and the Bahamas, and the Mid-Atlantic region from Washington-Dulles. Silver operates a fleet of 22 highly reliable and fuel-efficient 34-seat Saab 340B Plus turboprop aircraft under its FAA Part 121 air carrier certificate.
Interview with Julie Puckhaber, Principle Manager, Brand Networking/Talent Recruiting, Silver Airways
Craig: How do you select applicants to be brought in for an interview?
Julie: Rominy, Camilo and myself are Silver’s pilot recruiters. We review all applications, then perform a telephone interview consisting of questions to establish that the applicant meets minimum credential requirements.
C: What can an applicant do to increase their chances of being called for an interview?
J: Present a detailed resume, and have their contact information clearly displayed.
C: How critical is it to attend a job fair to get an interview?
J: It’s not critical, however, every opportunity to participate in public relations and hiring expos helps tremendously.
C: What is the best way to prepare for an interview with your company?
J: An applicant needs to first meet all minimum requirements per the FAA’s regulations for Part 121 carriers. It is always a good start for an applicant to have knowledge of and familiarize themselves with Silver Airways, our bases, and what type of planes we fly.
C: Do you recommend that applicants get to your headquarters city the day before and get a hotel room for the night?
J: Not necessary.
C: Can you walk me through a typical day of interviews?
J: A Management Pilot, a Union Representative Pilot, and a Pilot Recruiter review the applicant’s paperwork, and then proceed with the interview. After the conclusion of the interview, a recommendation is made. A final review by the Director of Operations will make the final decision on hiring.
C: What kind of questions can an applicant expect to be asked?
J: Several TMAT’s, personal experience, professional experience, etc.
C: Can you give me some examples of the TMAAT questions that you like to ask?
J: Tell me about a time you supported a policy that you disagreed with?
C: If the TMAAT question being asked does not apply to that applicant can that question be skipped?
C: What are some of the biggest mistakes that applicants make during the interview process?
J: They don’t take ownership of their prior mistakes.
C: Is there a written or computer test?
J: Yes, there is a computer test.
C: What can you recommend applicants study for that test? At what point is this test taken?
J: The applicant should study the rules of the runway and basic pilot general knowledge.
C: Is there a personality test?
C: Do you tell applicants they are hired in person that day?
C: If not, how long do applicants have to wait to know if they are hired?
J: It usually takes 2-3 days before the applicant is advised of the outcome.
C: How soon can an applicant expect a class date after being hired?
J: Within 30 days, possibly sooner.
C: How many pilots does your airline expect to hire this year?
C: Does Silver offer an ATP-CQP course?
J: Yes, we offer the ATP/CTP course.
C: Do you have a hiring bonus? Is there any specific criterion to qualify for the bonus?
J: We have a $12,000 new hire bonus paid in the following installments: first installment $3,000 upon release-to-line, second installment upon the pilots first year anniversary at Silver, and the third installment of $6,000 upon reaching their second year anniversary at Silver.
C: Does Silver have a pilot referral program?
J: Yes, we offer $2,500 referral fee to referring pilots once the referred pilot is with Silver for six months.
C: Does Silver have any defined career paths with a major airline?
J: Frontier Airlines
Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Year Founded: 2011
Number of employees: 650
Number of Aircraft: 22 Saab 340B Plus turboprops
Number of Pilots: 155
Number of Bases: 3
Bases: MCO, TPA, FLL
Number of Cities served: 27, including 10 in Florida, 8 in the Bahamas, and 9 in Cuba
Key Benefits: Silver offers our pilots day trips with tropical destinations.
Facebook – www.facebook.com/SilverAirways/
Instagram – #silverairways_official
Pilot Career Page – silverairwayspilots.com
Phone – (954) 985-1500 ext 1602/1668