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Hard times on their way for the super rich

10 Posts

Business jet pilot shortage

So, there is hope for all of us aspiring Samedan and Egelsbach pilots. We can slum it in a hotel under the Matterhorn while the client is skiing

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Unless in a well structured corporate flight department, this is an idiosyncratic career choice today.

Imagine the family life of a G650 crew owned by an individual. The prep for a long haul (food, bed linen, flight planning, slot times, security/customs) for a crew of 3-4, is not trivial.

One anecdote a hapless flight crew moved to a new operation, on the first long haul a crew member had to walk through the cabin for a comfort stop. The owner hadn’t realised the potty was also for crew relief. He changed aircraft type and crew.

In these sophisticated times flight deck crew might even want to carry out banking style know your client, anti money laundering due diligence on their operation.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

One of my neighbors is a G550 pilot. He was with a large international construction company for some years then quit due to what I surmise was a combination of antics on the part of the passengers and a minor medical issue. A few months later he’s been recruited by another large corporate flight department that’s been hounding him for a couple of years. This time it’s people he likes, three weeks on, three weeks off with pay negotiated up… and that works for him. The demand certainly seems to be there if you’re senior and qualified.

There is a very steep decline (pay, benefits, operational integrity) between the US and Europe in this business. It’s not unheard of to pay 30k for a rating only to earn <2000 € gross and spend 25 days a month away from home. Lot’s of „black sheep“ type of operators unfortunately, which shows once in a while when things go awfully wrong. If I’d pay that kind of money for private transportation I’d do some serious due diligence, but I know better. Many in the back don’t.

On the bigger jets it’s better pay wise, but those jobs are certainly not the majority.

CB IR Instruction

It’s certainly a job which prefers young single men and women

They have to be pretty sharp, however. No ops department to do planning for you, in most cases.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I knew a guy who with one other, were pretty much the only crew for a company jet. (If I remember, I think through some kind of agency)
They would fly all over Europe. Often at fairly short notice.
Then sit in an airport lounge all day waiting for the exec’s to finish their meetings and hospitality. Not infrequently they’d find out that the trip was morphing to an overnight as everyone else was enjoying themselves.
I love the idea of Jets, but not for me thanks.

Private strip, Essex (not mine), United Kingdom

This is/was my dream job, if only the class 1 medical would stop evading me.


I cannot believe the very rich will ever be constrained to fly scheduled airline by crew shortage.
Just buy the relevant A/B, and make the BA/Luft/Ryanair Flight Crew a long-term offer they won’t refuse to leave their assigned flight and fly yours.

EGPE, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

It’s certainly a job which prefers young single men and women

They have to be pretty sharp, however. No ops department to do planning for you, in most cases.

That depends.

A crew I know are all over 45 and one very consderably older than that.

As they do, I think anyone at the top end will employ one of the firms that provide flight planning.

I love the story that on one occasion recently the owner called the captain, Thursday night – now we will be leaving Saturday 11 am (11 am does indeed mean 11 am, even a small delay is not received well and the limos really do take the owner and entourage to the aircraft steps), I wish to take in the following countries in South America, it will be a three week tour, now make sure it is all arranged. Indeed it was. Of course seperate staff took care of all the hotel bookings and other arrangements.

I just switched from the turboprop to corporate jets. It’s quite demanding, but it’s doable. Quite a lot of colleagues on the flight deck have families. However, I do not fly for a single owner.

Last Edited by Alex at 08 Oct 20:50
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