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CommuteAir raises pilot pay

A new union contract offers higher hourly pay and annual bonuses up to $50,000 for new hires, along with travel and other benefits designed to help the company compete for the increasingly scarce supply of qualified pilots.

The regional carrier has been operating United Express flights since 2011 and became its sole operator after United Airlines ended its affiliation with ExpressJet in July 2020.

“We are excited to reveal the CommuteAir rebrand as yet another advantage to our competitive position—not only as a leading carrier for United Express, but as a home with the right culture for rising aviation talent,” Rick Hoefling, CommuteAir president and CEO, said in the announcement.

Beyond legally changing the its name from CommutAir to CommuteAir LLC in July, a new contract with pilots in the Air Line Pilots Association raises pay to $72 per hour plus a $25,000 yearly bonus for starting first officers, and $100 per hour with a $50,000 annual bonus for starting captains. The company will also offer company-sponsored travel to and from home to work, elevated 401(k) contributions and company matching, sign-on bonuses for direct entry captains, and more.

CommuteAir Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Joel Raymond said, “The new brand identity for CommuteAir reflects what we’ve always sought to contribute as an aviation leader. We continue to invest in our team members who fuel our future, and we embrace our vibrant culture of diverse professionals. The innovation and spirit of our team will continue to keep us flying above the competition.”

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