Why leaving your airline on good terms is important

You have been offered a new position with another airline. What next? Just like creating a good impression when starting a good job is important, leaving on good terms and with a good reputation is essential when it comes to a pilot’s aviation career.

The aviation industry is relatively small and as a professional pilot your reputation is of high importance if you are looking at furthering yourself in your career and being known as a true professional.

Honour your notice period

Honouring your notice period is always recommended. Leaving without providing the appropriate notice period not only creates chaos for an airline and their flight operations but is also unprofessional and can be damaging for your reputation as a professional pilot. Checking your contract to determine what your notice period is and how to hand in your notice should be your first step. In some cases, airlines may be willing to negotiate the length of your notice period, pending their operational needs. If you need to leave earlier than required, speak with your Chief Pilot or company’s HR team to discuss if they can accommodate your request.

Request necessary documents and information prior to leaving

Remember also that you will likely be needing the airline to provide you with official documentation and a reference, so following the airline’s processes will ensure this process goes smoothly.

In general, your new airline will require the official paperwork such as a letter of reference confirming your rank, fleet, employment dates with the airline, total flight time and time on type. Other documents may be simulator and line check reports, as well as certified log books. We recommend you obtain these before leaving, as trying to get these later on can be difficult, given staff changes, distance etc. You can read more about what documentation is required by airlines when applying for a new job in our blog titled What information do Airlines ask or and why?

Hand over your uniform and all airline property

Hand over all airline property at the end of your assignment (uniforms, flight bag, manuals, ID cards, etc). Your airline should advise you of the process for doing this.

Say goodbye to colleagues and management

If the airline organises a goodbye party/celebration in your honour, do attend. This is a chance to say goodbye to your colleagues and friends and also to talk with management. Thank the management team in person and let them know if you could be keen to return to work with them again in the future, if you feel inclined this way.

Keep bridges intact

Keeping relationships intact when leaving will mean that if an opportunity arises in the future, the airline may call on you to return to work for them. Or, your colleagues and management who also move on from the airline, may create opportunities for you at other airlines.

Looking for a new opportunity?

If you are in the process of looking for a new opportunity and would like to discuss what is available at present, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We currently have a range of opportunities available, these can be viewed on Positions page, or feel free to send us an email on info@wingsrecruitment.com.

By Mariana Bould

Mariana Bould, Wings RecruitmentMariana is a Recruitment Consultant here at WINGS Recruitment. She enjoys recruiting experienced flight crew for airlines worldwide and is passionate about developing and enhancing compliance processes within the business.

Connect with Mariana on LinkedIn.