With the increasing popularity of private airlines, some of Australia’s biggest airlines have come under fire for hiring and promoting airline pilots.
A survey commissioned by the ABC reveals the practice is rife.
In the past five years, four out of five airline pilots have been on contract with one or more companies, and many have been underpaid and under-appreciated.
The ABC spoke to many of the pilots, who were not authorised to speak to the media.
One pilot, who was on a pilot training course, was paid $2,000 per month.
“It’s a pretty harsh reality,” he said.
The pilot said the pay was “absolutely unacceptable”.
“It was a pretty serious wage and that’s just what I was being paid, but I was a full time job.”
“The people I was working with weren’t happy with it.
They weren’t getting their money back, they weren’t being given a fair deal.”
Some pilots have said the companies who hired them were “too close” to their employers, and said the contracts were often “bargaining chips”.
The pilot says that if he was to leave the airline he would work for another airline, or he would get a “different experience”.
He said that in some cases, he was “paid to do the wrong thing” and he was not paid enough to cover the costs of flying.
He said he had never had an incident while on a commercial flight.
He said his experience had been “very positive” but he did not feel he had been treated fairly.
“I just hope that as people start to think about these things and get out of their comfort zones and look at these companies more critically, that they do a little more homework before they take on these jobs.”
“They don’t want to put people in harm’s way, they don’t have a safety culture and they don.
They want to make a lot of money and they do not want to be held accountable.”
He was also dissatisfied with the “chase rate” of private pilots.
Mr Dreyfus says private pilots are given “the option of doing a second job and then when the market changes, they get an extra $50,000”.
He believes “it’s time for people to be honest about what they are doing”.
Mr Marques says the industry is in a difficult position because the pilots are “underpaid and are often over-valued”.
He says he would like the industry to “step back and look again at the whole pilot program”.
“We need to look at the market.
“There are a lot more pilots that are going to be out there in 20 years time than there are pilots that work for you right now.””
There are a lot more pilots that are going to be out there in 20 years time than there are pilots that work for you right now.”