What Can Airlines Do To Attract Quality Pilots?

Quality pilots are key to an effective airline. Let’s take an in-depth look into what airlines can do to attract quality pilots.

Attracting Quality Flight Crew

Options, options, options. When it comes to attracting quality flight crew, pilots will make employment choices to suit their individual, family, financial and personal circumstances. The more options you can offer, the more pilots you will attract.

Payment and Benefits Package

It is no surprise that the package offered is a main driver in attracting quality pilots. It is very important to know your market and that the package you offer is in line with, or is better than, your competitors. While money is an important factor, additional benefits are attractive and deliver the bonus of making crew feel valued.

If you are unable to offer the best remuneration in the market, what other benefits can you provide? Below we have provided a list of some of the additional benefits offered.


Given the nature of the Airline business it makes sense that Airlines offer travel to their pilots. What is offered will vary depending on the size of the Airline and its networks, but options might include air travel on the Airline network and its partners networks, monetary travel allowance in lieu of air tickets, travel benefits extending into retirement for permanent pilots, discounted tickets, ID 90 and/ or ID 50 tickets for the pilot and their family members.


Travelling across international borders and the inherent risks involved in aviation make insurance an important choice for any air traveller. For pilots who work in the industry, insurance cover is a must. Insurance that covers a pilot’s family is also well received as are options to take additional types of insurances or to customise coverage


Working away from home is a fact of life for pilots but good accommodation will have a significant impact on a pilot’s wellbeing and satisfaction. Ask yourself these questions:

> Is your hotel accommodation clean and tidy and have you checked this out recently?

> Are there food options available in the hotel or close by?

> Is there wi-fi and laundry facilities available?

> Do per diems actually cover the cost associated with overnighting?


For crew members who live outside of their home country with school age children, schooling is a major priority. An education allowance and information on the types of local and international schooling available can be a considerable advantage in securing quality flight crew.


Offering rostering options. A variety of roster options will enable the pilot to manage their individual work life balance.

Professional Development

While Airlines routinely put their permanent employees through upgrade and type rating training it is worth considering offering this to contract pilots. Contract pilots will seriously consider moving away from their current employer if opportunities exist for them to increase their experience. It may be possible to provide upgrades by rank after a certain amount of time has passed on contract e.g. First Officer to Captain. Some Airlines will accept pilots with zero hours on a certain aircraft type if the crew member can arrive with the required type rating and demonstrate experience on a similar type e.g. A320 pilots for A330 positions.

Work Environment and Company Culture

An Airline’s reputation is well known within the industry. Airlines that spend time investing in their human capital, safety standards and company culture will attract quality pilots.

Rewards and Recognition

We all like to feel appreciated and building a culture of reward and recognition goes a long way to create a positive culture and striving for excellence. This can be achieved through bonuses, formal acknowledgements of a job well done or a simple thank you.

Expatriate Pilots

Consider the difficulties of living abroad and ask if you can provide additional support – can you help with finding accommodation if applicable? Can you provide support from another expatriate pilot who is familiar with the issues/challenges new pilots are likely to face?

Trust the Experts

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your airline is attracting and recruiting, is working with professionals. Wings Recruitment are the professionals in sourcing quality flight crew for permanent and contract positions. We assist with the entire process, if there are any issues or barriers to you finding quality flight crew and pilots for your airline, Wings Recruitment is the team for you. Let us assist you today, check out our website to find out more.

Have you considered engaging Contract Flight Crew? Contact us for more information on this process.