PSA Airlines reaches historic contract with pilots, boosting pay

DAYTON — Dayton’s only local based airline announces a historic contract with its pilots, boosting pay significantly.

PSA Airlines, regional carrier for American Airlines announced the agreement with the Airline Pilots Association.

The new agreement is all about working to attract and retain pilots and an airline based in Dayton is at the forefront of this new development.

The air travel industry is bouncing back from COVID faster than anyone anticipating, including the airlines. But it’s led to large shortages of working, including flight crews.

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Jay Ratliff, an aviation expert, said, “Because of the pilot shortage that s gripping the planet right now, a lot of regional carriers, they’re losing qualified pilots.”

Ratliff said the large carriers poach the small carrier and everyone is trying to find the crews to keep the planes in the air.

He said Dayton-based PSA Airlines took a huge step in the last week with a contract that increases pilot pay as much as 57% in some instances.

The airline told News Center 7 it is pleased with the deal.

PSA Airlines issued the following statement:

“PSA is investing in our future by greatly enhancing our pilots’ pay structure and long-term career trajectory. This timely investment proves that PSA is the absolute best path for commercial pilots and secures a solid foundation for years to come. As we work to recover from one of the most trying times this industry has ever seen, we continue to work as a team and do what we do best – take care of our customers and one another, and deliver the safest, most reliable airline.”

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Gil Turner, Dayton Airport Director, is also excited about the new agreement. He sees it as an investment not just for pilots of PSA about also for PSA’s future in Dayton.

“PSA making this move, being the first one, that’s going to go a long way, especially here in Dayton,” Turner said.

Industry experts said pilots have a tremendous amount of pressure and responsibility. Their skills and training time, especially at regional carriers, weren’t always compensated appropriately.

“Some people pay $200,000 to learn to fly and get the required 1,500 required training hours, so I can go to work for $35?” Ratliff said.

PSA Airlines is not only headquartered in Dayton but on the airport grounds they built a large aircraft maintenance facility as well.

The new agreement is not only good news for Dayton and the airport here but hopefully for air travelers as well.