Jumping from airline to corporate?

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navajo_jay
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Jumping from airline to corporate?

#1 Post by navajo_jay » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:50 am

Hi guys,

just wondering if any of you left the airline world to the a corporate gig? Any regrets? recommendations?

I like my seniority and pay right now but a bit fed up with airline industry and environment or maybe it's just me suffering of the greener grass sydnrome :lol:

cheers! :drink:
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#2 Post by DrSpaceman » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:57 am

I've done the opposite, and I wouldn't go back to corporate anytime soon. The only way I can see this making sense is jumping from a regional airline (if you got a mainline pfo) to a good 3 pilot gig. Those good corporate gigs are hard to find though, and the turnover is practically non-existent, just like the job security.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#3 Post by schnitzel2k3 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:44 pm

I really enjoy corporate, it definitely does not have the security any of the major airlines.

As the poster said above, the older flight departments have dispersed for the most post, but that's generally where the getting is good.

Can you take a leave of absence and jump into corporate for a 2 year (typical contract), and see without going all the way in?

S.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#4 Post by Jet Jockey » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:45 am

Both types of jobs have their "pros" and "cons"...

There are only two real airlines in Canada, Air Canada and Westjet.

1- If you are for arguments sake at Air Canada or Westjet with lots of seniority and you have a good salary with good benefits then I'd say to stay put.

2- If you are at a regional with good seniority and pay with a chance of jumping to the "main carrier" (Air Canada/Westjet) then it becomes a career call and I would probably stay with the airline.

3- If you work for a charter company like Air Transat, Sunwing, Nolinor or others (I do not consider them as airlines just because they operate big aircrafts), and you think there is no room to improve your position then perhaps you could look at the corporate world.

Arguably, both Air Canada and Westjet have the best overall packages when it comes to salary, benefits, and general working conditions. It would be hard to justify a move out of both companies for the corporate world especially with a good seniority number.

This said I moved from an airline back in 1991 (regional with then Canadian), to the corporate world and never looked back. Unless things change I hope/will retire with this corporation I fly for at this time since 1991.

A few things to remember in the corporate world...

First of all, there are very few good companies or corporations to work for and that depends on who runs the show for the flight department. All of those jobs with good corporations are taken until usually someone retires. Look for a corporation with a history of corporate aviation, one that as operated and aircraft or several aircrafts for many, many years. That is a sign (but not a guaranty) that they will continue to operate aircrafts into the future.

Some corporations have their own flight department and so you deal directly with the people in charge of their flight ops. Usually this is better because you deal one on one with the people taking the decisions for the flight department.

Some corporations do not want the problems of setting up their own flight departments and turn to "management companies" like Execaire or Skyservice to name a few. Now as a pilot you have to deal with them and believe me when I say they do not have your best interest at heart and sometimes even the customer's but their own and will do anything to keep you away from direct dealings with the owner so that they can control all aspects of the flight department including salaries and other conditions attached to the job. They usually bid very low to get the contract which means low salaries and not so good working conditions like running the aircrafts with only two pilots.

I'm lucky enough because I fall into a "hybrid solution" of the two types of operations above and that is the main reason I am still working for the same corporation for all these years. Without going into specifics of my working conditions, I have a schedule every month and on average 10 days a month "OFF" with 20 days covering my type of aircraft. Now let us not forget that a corporate aircraft unlike and airliner does not fly every day so realistically I get far more than 10 days "OFF" a month. I also get 5 weeks a year vacation, some RRSP contributions, generous per diems, and a very good base salary (better than a 12 year captain on the A320 at Air Canada), plus the possibility of overtime and a few other perks. Last year I flew just over 200 hours.

If you are lucky enough to get hired by a good corporation and you can live with a changing schedule, one on one dealings with the passengers, taking a lot more responsibilities (compared to an airline pilot) for the successful completion of the flight then perhaps you would enjoy the corporate world.

The best way to describe the difference between and airline pilot and a corporate pilot is... The airline pilot is paid to fly while the corporate pilot is paid to wait.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#5 Post by atphat » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:12 am

Would be interesting to know how many corporate gigs pay north of 200 grand a year. If that's so that would indeed be a very nice job, security aside.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#6 Post by schnitzel2k3 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:52 am

Probably the legacy flight departments would get close if you are in management. Larger jets, if captain, will pay a comfortable 120+.

I can't imagine a management company paying those digits, even for a larger jet.

Dollar per hour, you make more in corporate, but schedule for schedule, airlines usually win out.

It all depends what you love. If you want control over most aspects of the flight, corporate is great. If you want to punch in, punch out, drop the keys and go home - corporate isn't for you.

I love knowing I may have made a difference in a client's day. Getting them home early, making them smile when they are having a bad day, remembering their favorite food or drink is especially rewarding.

My 2 cents.

S.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#7 Post by NovaBoy » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:22 am

I made the jump from airline to corporate 12 years ago. Now days with the turnover at AC and the fast upgrade times.......no way. However as previously mentioned if you're at a regional, or something other than AC or WS, and the right job opens up it might be worth it.

There maybe two operators in Canada paying north of $200K. Unless you know someone, good luck getting on.
I lucked out and have been with a good operation that has been around since the '30's. Pay is excellent, benefits are decent, the other pilots are all good folks, and fun to fly with. I do like the fact that I know the guy sitting next to me really well, and we haven't just met in the crew room for the first time. We are privately owned and they love they're airplanes. Job security is a huge reason I'm still here.

If you don't mind flight planning, setting up customs, making hotel, rental car, limo arrangements, getting catering, getting aircraft ready, updating flt plans, and customs multiple times because pax are 4 hours late, then flying for an hour, sitting at an FBO for 6 hours, then flying another hour.........it's not a bad gig.

I will echo the above statement, corporate pilots are paid to wait, flying is a bonus.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#8 Post by Jet Jockey » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:31 pm

NovaBoy wrote:
There maybe two operators in Canada paying north of $200K. Unless you know someone, good luck getting on.

If you don't mind flight planning, setting up customs, making hotel, rental car, limo arrangements, getting catering, getting aircraft ready, updating flt plans, and customs multiple times because pax are 4 hours late, then flying for an hour, sitting at an FBO for 6 hours, then flying another hour.........it's not a bad gig.

I will echo the above statement, corporate pilots are paid to wait, flying is a bonus.
There are several that I know of that pay above $150K up to $200K and more than a couple of operators that pay above $200K a year in Canada.

I our operation, the passenger's office takes care of their hotel reservations and most of their ground transportation, otherwise our Reservations Department takes care of their ground transportation. Reservations will also order the catering at home base and at other airports if we are scheduled to be there less than 6 hours. They will also set up Customs everywhere we go and advise the incoming FBO of our arrival and make sure all the appropriate services required are taken care of. Flight Ops usually takes care of all matters in flight planning/updating, overflight permits and anything pertinent to the flying part of the operation. After hours, when Reservations is closed Flight Ops will also coordinate ground transportation, customs and catering if required.

A while back the pilots decided to start making their own hotel reservations and take care of their own ground transportation to have better control over where to stay and what to drive. We normally order the catering for the passengers when on the road. We also take care of CANPASS for our return flights to Canada.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#9 Post by D.A.S.H. » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:04 am

Hi everyone,

first time poster. I would like to know if anybody has any infos on Skyservice or Execaire (salary, schedule, insurance, etc). I know it all depends on aircraft/owner but something general would do it.

Thanks!
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#10 Post by dude507 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:45 am

I wouldn't jump from airline to corporate unless it is for one of the top owners (not management companies). Airline provides travel benefits and usually some form of pension. And in todays market it is a race to the bottom. Even Execaire which has always been the elite of management companies, is having to bid 2 pilot airplanes in order to compete with the bottom feeders. Jet Jockey knows. He is obviously an Execaire pilot by his description of how things work where he is. At least Execaire is the only operator with a dedicated reservations department and full 24/7 dispatch center. I think they are still the top, but for how long.
The good thing is that now that there are no more good qualified pilots out there, the scheming of 2 pilot operations and filling in with contractors days are coming to an end. There are no longer tons of contractors floating around.
If you switch to corporate you will likely have no days off. The 2 pilot airplanes you are on constant call. Be it 12 or 24 hour callout, you are still on call. So your days off are the days behind you that you didn't fly. Try making a doctor, dentist or car dealer appointement with those conditions. Try planning a weekend getaway with your spouse. NOT. You dont have any guaranteed hard days off that you can plan anything. And your vacation will be when the airplane is in maintenance, forced on you.
Its beyond me how an owner can spend 20 to 50 million dollars or more for an airplane and then try and operate it on a shew string budget. Most of these companies are only training their pilots once a year. Makes me wonder how they stay legal for their night landings during summer. I guess they probably dont.
All this to say that in todays market, stay in the airline. The airlines are doing very well.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#11 Post by target » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:09 pm

Chartright is making an effort to make any of their planes that are used for charter have a 3 person crew.
Those crews seem to be 10 on and 5 off, that must improve crews "lifestyle".
Not sure what the pay is like.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#12 Post by JohnnyHotRocks » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:33 pm

I would put Execaire behind Skyservice and possibly tied with Chartright.
Execaire is not what it was 25yrs ago, that's for sure.
As for no days off and crap pay...really depends who you work for!
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#13 Post by '97 Tercel » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:22 am

Skyservice Air Ambulance is looking for Learjet 45XR captains for our Toronto base.

Benefits
• Set monthly schedule
Stepping stone to major Canadian airlines
• Health, drugs, vision, dental coverage

Haha new tactic. Sky Service doesn't even expect you to stay there! Maybe the 'stepping stone' idea is how they justify low wage?
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#14 Post by JohnnyHotRocks » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:31 am

Skyservice medevac and Skyservice Business aircraft management are two
totally different operations when it comes to pay and schedule
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#15 Post by West peak » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:06 pm

Skyservice really are clutching at straws with that ad!

As for Chartright, I have been hearing through the grapevine that they were getting pay raises and 3 crew. I think the 300 guys have been bumped to $125k. I was always under the impression that Skyservice and Chartright talked to each other when it came to pay so how does this compare to them now? Anyone know what a 300 guy is getting at Skyservice? I think it’s still a little low compared to the NBAA numbers which put average pay at about $135k but much better than the 100k or so some were on.

I think Execaire still leads the way from those I know there, but maybe the others are closing the gap?

As far as moving to corporate from the Airlines, I would suggest that significantly more move the other way.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#16 Post by Speed_Bird1 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:37 pm

Yes Chartright has been raising pay and pushing for 3 crew operations. It’s going in the right direction. There are some growing pains but the CP seems to be trying hard to fix it.

At the end of the day, the owners still have to say yes.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#17 Post by Broker » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:02 am

dude507 wrote:I wouldn't jump from airline to corporate unless it is for one of the top owners (not management companies). Airline provides travel benefits and usually some form of pension. And in todays market it is a race to the bottom. Even Execaire which has always been the elite of management companies, is having to bid 2 pilot airplanes in order to compete with the bottom feeders. Jet Jockey knows. He is obviously an Execaire pilot by his description of how things work where he is. At least Execaire is the only operator with a dedicated reservations department and full 24/7 dispatch center. I think they are still the top, but for how long.
The good thing is that now that there are no more good qualified pilots out there, the scheming of 2 pilot operations and filling in with contractors days are coming to an end. There are no longer tons of contractors floating around.
If you switch to corporate you will likely have no days off. The 2 pilot airplanes you are on constant call. Be it 12 or 24 hour callout, you are still on call. So your days off are the days behind you that you didn't fly. Try making a doctor, dentist or car dealer appointement with those conditions. Try planning a weekend getaway with your spouse. NOT. You dont have any guaranteed hard days off that you can plan anything. And your vacation will be when the airplane is in maintenance, forced on you.
Its beyond me how an owner can spend 20 to 50 million dollars or more for an airplane and then try and operate it on a shew string budget. Most of these companies are only training their pilots once a year. Makes me wonder how they stay legal for their night landings during summer. I guess they probably dont.
All this to say that in todays market, stay in the airline. The airlines are doing very well.
There are these training devices called simulators that are used for night currency. It doesn't even have to be the same type, just the same category. That points to the stupidity of poorly thought out CAR's.

6 month training intervals would be nice but they are not required. Most operators adhere to requirements of the CAR's rather than train more frequently. There is no backing statistics that show increased training intervals create a hazard.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#18 Post by CL-Skadoo! » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:41 am

With our department, we go at least every 6 months even though we don't have to, and I am pretty certain we're not the only ones.

Let's not forget, there are some very good private operations out there that rarely, if ever get spoken of on this website.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#19 Post by Jet Jockey » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:55 am

I go twice a year for training on the Global.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#20 Post by Broker » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:58 am

Jet Jockey wrote:I go twice a year for training on the Global.
Same program every time or do they split the required training so that it is more positive. Very unimpressed with the last few years at BBD YUL.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#21 Post by Jet Jockey » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:32 am

Broker wrote:
Jet Jockey wrote:I go twice a year for training on the Global.
Same program every time or do they split the required training so that it is more positive. Very unimpressed with the last few years at BBD YUL.

I would not put all the blame on BBD.

The new idiots at TC are causing a lot of problems for both the operators and the training centres.

In our case because we have so much material to cover because of the way our training manual was approved by TC that a lot of the sim time is basically just "tick the boxes" which does not promote learning at all!

So we have to cover the required material and then try to do extra stuff. We do follow some of BBD's scenarios/syllabus but we also modify them. This is true for the "annual training and when a PPC/ride" is required.

However at the 6 month training we are not bound by all our/TC training requirements so we the pilots get to say what we would like to see/practice which is a much better learning environment.

All new to us now is the TCO thing for commercial ops in Europe. Because of this now we are required do to an "internal PPC" every 6 months and CATII training every year.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#22 Post by Broker » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:10 am

"I would not put all the blame on BBD.

The new idiots at TC are causing a lot of problems for both the operators and the training centres.

In our case because we have so much material to cover because of the way our training manual was approved by TC that a lot of the sim time is basically just "tick the boxes" which does not promote learning at all!"


That is what I was getting at and you are correct, it isn't fair to hold BATC solely to blame. TC shares a big part of it as did the misinterpretation by both operators and training centres.

Right now, it is a bandaid patch as it is almost negative training. It is more like an abbreviated check to see what does need training. Lots of repositioning is not conducive to meaningful training. Throw away the old "Train as you fly, fly as you train addage."
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#23 Post by dude507 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:54 am

I agree with Jet Jockey's comments.
As far as just using any sim in the same category just to qualify for night landings is bogus as far as I am concerned. Transport should not allow that. Same category airplanes can have very different landing characteristics which absolutely wouldn't increase currency in ones own type. Besides if you are going to spend money to rent a sim just for that, why not actually get value out of it and do some good training. Oh yeah, cheap owners. There may not be statistics for increased training and yes I agree most operators just follow CARS and that's because that's the minimum they have to. I am sure if they coud get away with less they would. Myself I would rather have a catastrophic failure 5 months after I have trained versus 11 months after may last training. And like Jet Jockey said. Since it is not regulatory mandated, it is the time to do good scenarios you would otherwise not be able to do just filling boxes on an annual training.
Better trained is better trained in any field of work. And that is a fact. Well enough on that topic.
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#24 Post by Broker » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:33 pm

dude507 wrote:I agree with Jet Jockey's comments.
As far as just using any sim in the same category just to qualify for night landings is bogus as far as I am concerned. Transport should not allow that. Same category airplanes can have very different landing characteristics which absolutely wouldn't increase currency in ones own type. Besides if you are going to spend money to rent a sim just for that, why not actually get value out of it and do some good training. Oh yeah, cheap owners. There may not be statistics for increased training and yes I agree most operators just follow CARS and that's because that's the minimum they have to. I am sure if they coud get away with less they would. Myself I would rather have a catastrophic failure 5 months after I have trained versus 11 months after may last training. And like Jet Jockey said. Since it is not regulatory mandated, it is the time to do good scenarios you would otherwise not be able to do just filling boxes on an annual training.
Better trained is better trained in any field of work. And that is a fact. Well enough on that topic.
Myself, I prefer to stay current with self study and occasional flight deck drills so I am not rusty at 5 or 11 months. What else is there to do on crossings...
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Re: Jumping from airline to corporate?

#25 Post by flaps78 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:06 pm

To get back to the subject:

Airlines fly aircraft to make $$$. Private operators operate aircraft due to poor/ nil airline service, privacy etc. As the airlines improve service between different cities it becomes more difficult for the corporate operators to compete re cost. Look at YYC - YYZ frequency and business class cost vs a corpoorate jet. The bean counters do look at the cost/ per flight.I flew corporate for 28 years and was made redundant twice. I was treated well and paid well. No regrets. I also flew for an aircraft management company ( SKY/ Nortel). While I was treated well at SKY, the salary and benefits were substantially below the corporates that I worked for.

The last thing to look at is job security. While there are a lot of great corporate operators out there, there are far fewer now than in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Many of the "Legacy" corporate flight departments i.e. Imperial Oil/ ESSO, Shell Oil, Suncor, Chevron, Amoco, Nortel etc are gone. Surprising that most of the corporate oil flight departments did not shut down due to the low cost of oil but rather because of management companies, bean counters trying to reduce cost and improved airline service.

Good luck on whatever decision you make.

Flaps 78
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