This "pilot" shortage is getting more and more apparent.
I was recently offered to interview for a "Direct Entry Captain" position. You read that right...start over at a new regional....as Captain.
The airline in question is PSA. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group. They, along with Envoy (formerly American Eagle) and Piedmont, perform most of the regional flying for American Airlines.
PSA has been on a huge growth spurt lately. New airplanes from the factory and, soon to be, aircraft from Envoy. PSA agreed to work for less money than Envoy....and Envoy is paying the price.
Direct Entry Captain positions are also known as "Street Captains". Here's how it works.
Say there are 1200 pilots on property. To keep it simple there are 600 Captains and 600 First Officers.
A Direct Entry Captain would be pilot number 1201. They would be junior to every pilot on property. For whatever reason PSA has run out of First Officers capable of upgrading to Captain. One of the many requirements to be Captain is 1,000 hours of Part 121 (airline) flying time.
Since I have almost 5000 hours of 121 time I easily qualify for that requirement.
This new Direct Entry Captain would be a Captain in all respects......except seniority. The Direct Entry Captain would likely be on reserve for years as First Officers above him on the seniority list upgrade. Additionally the Direct Entry Captain has no protection of his seat. If there is one displacement then they will very likely be pushed to the right seat until their seniority can hold Captain.
Who takes these Direct Entry Captain positions? Well those who are junior Captains looking for a change. Possibly a First Officer years away from upgrade at their current airline. Also those who are gamblers.
I am none of those.
For those who want to take the risk....good luck.