Piedmont Airlines is offering jobs to pilots laid off by a bankrupt carrier sight unseen. The Maryland-based regional says it won’t even interview the pilots who lost their jobs when ExpressJet went under recently. In an announcement it said it has no qualms about beefing up its ranks with the suddenly unemployed pilots and it’s confident they’ll fit in seamlessly. “No one wants to see an airline fail, ever. We know that ExpressJet pilots are well-trained aviators who know the Embraer 145, and we are very pleased to make this transition as easy as possible for them.”

Piedmont is invoking the “distressed carrier” provision in its contract with the Air Line Pilots Association. The language was added in 2021 and allows Piedmont to offer a “safe haven” for pilots left jobless by business failures. ExpressJet, based in Georgia, recently ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Piedmont has 15 E145s, and any ExpressJet pilots who come over will likely get a raise. “This is an opportunity to get these pilots significant pay and bonus increases, expedited job offers and in the process, help Piedmont grow its fleet,” said Director of Operations Matt Kernan. “A pilot with five years’ experience can start at over $160 an hour.”

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