API’s President & CEO Sheryl Barden contributed to the salary-related information in the 2023 BCA’s Operations Planning Guide. (Log-in required)

Following is the salary section excerpt…


Included are salaries for Flight Crew, Cabin Crew and Director of Maintenance where appropriate. For this year, Sheryl Barden, CEO at Aviation Personnel International said, “we continue to see robust flight operations with a one-two punch of additional emphasis on hiring typed and current flight crew members to meet increased mission needs and increasing staffing levels to even out crew workloads.”

The “aircraft management company sector and flight crew training companies are facing the same pressures on hiring and crew salaries,” said Barden. Fractional and Charter Operators are also in the hiring mode as demand for their services has increased over the last 12 months, with some notable demand softening in the charter segment.

Airlines are “actively hiring, using creative means to fill positions,” she said. Barden further stated that “airlines are recruiting and negotiating higher salaries, which is attracting pilots out of the business aviation market. “

Barden discussed additional shifts in the crew-hiring landscape as follows: “Hiring tactically instead of strategically has resulted in hiring people who can be brought up to the corporate flight department standards is becoming more predominant in the flight crew landscape.” The pilot shortage remains significant, said Barden. Additionally, “the contract crew market is very lucrative, she added.”

Barden further stated that “Business aviation flight departments are staffing at higher numbers to accommodate more frequent flying and improved work-life balance. COVID-19 concerns are significantly diminished.” Barden also noted: “Corporate flight department crew retention remains key as the economy continues to open up. Salary adjustments for 2023 resumed their upward trajectory this year, in anticipation of having to make significant operational adjustments in the next year or two.

Salary increases for flight departments in 2023 have not yet normalized as predicted last year. Overall, business flying has been impacted by qualified crew supply and increased hiring competition. There is no one-size-fits-all formula that can be applied to define current conditions.”    

Barden emphasized that retention strategies including “bonuses, restricted stock, retention bonuses, work-life balance adjustments, and general working conditions in flight departments, large or small, play key roles in mitigating personnel churn and attracting talent when needed.”

Maintenance professionals also are in short supply with “retirement becoming a factor to consider with salaries rising to retain and attract new talent. Directors of maintenance play a crucial role and can have a direct impact on airframe resale value by ensuring a high degree of aircraft maintenance and repair status along and associated documentation.” Barden added that Cabin Crew salaries have also risen more than previous years as emphasis on qualified talent is in high demand.”

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