In the current market, pilots have many choices and opportunities to work for companies they find attractive. While some still go for well-known industry giants, others turn to speciality airlines, for example, ACMI providers. How do such airlines attract and retain talented pilots in their teams?
ACMI – an exciting opportunity for pilots
Unlike pilots of traditional scheduled airlines, ACMI pilots enjoy variety. “We have an opportunity to fly worldwide and gain diverse experience while flying to different airports all over the world”, says David Sheehan, chief pilot at Avion Express, a leading provider of aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance (ACMI) and charter services. “My favourite destinations, in general, are smaller, more remote airports, usually accompanied by amazing scenery and untouched landscapes, for example, Paramaribo in Surinam.”
Over his 18-year-long career, Sheehan has found himself working for a number of airlines and has gained plenty of experience at traditional scheduled airlines, and yet he truly enjoys working as an ACMI pilot.
While the ability to visit interesting airports in different countries is undeniably one of the main perks of flying for an ACMI company, David shares that it’s by far not the only advantage he sees. “We enjoy more flexibility than pilots who fly for traditional airlines. ACMI is generally used to support other airlines regarding unforeseen circumstances, seasonal peak requirements, and extra capacity at short notice. Usually, the travelling public is unaware of ACMI operators as we are nearly always flying under the client’s airline brand name. That’s how we get to gain experience at a wider list of airports.”
And as for working at Avion Express specifically, Sheehan says that he enjoys the multicultural team, professional approach and company’s attention to constant employee growth and improvement. “Also, as ACMI pilots, we can nominate our home base and the airline will take care of all transport to and from the base of operations as well as accommodation.
Always ready to grow their pilot team
According to Laura Macutkevic, vice president of people and culture at Avion Express, there are many reasons pilots choose ACMI. “Commuting roster, competitive conditions, worldwide operations, great culture, and plenty of career opportunities are just a few reasons our pilots have shared as examples.”
The company is proud of its diverse team that consists of both male and female pilots of various nationalities. “We’re a global and modern company, therefore we are happy to have a team that represents this.”
Macutkevic explains that Avion Express is looking for pilots almost constantly, as they are operating all year round. “Obviously the recruitment before the high season is more intense than during the wintertime but usually, we start training for new pilots in late autumn and continue throughout the year. We plan to hire at least 200 more pilots next year to meet the growing demand for our operations. Thus, if you’re looking to try yourself at flying for ACMI, we might be the right team for you.”.