Thursday, June 21, 2007

FedEx will base pilots overseas

FedExSome pilots flying for FedEx soon may be calling Paris or Hong Kong home, according to a recent article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The article says that FedEx is preparing to open pilot domiciles in both Paris and Hong Kong, and that the company is currently in discussions with its pilots' union about necessary contract amendments, including cost-of-living stipends and which planes the carrier will be flying in each market.

The article goes on to offer these details:
For pilots, particularly young pilots, an overseas base can offer chances to move up the pay scale with promotions not available in larger bases. For instance, a first officer in Memphis who lacks seniority to fly in the captain's seat could be senior in a smaller domicile.

Promotion from first officer to captain normally carries a 35 percent raise. A 15-year first officer moving to the most senior captain's seat would make an added $60,000 to $70,000 a year.

Traditionally, FedEx has agreed to pay moving costs to and from a domicile for pilots who stay three years.

Setting up foreign bases could save it millions in commuting costs. For instance, for June, FedEx has 31 flights to Europe to get 64 pilots in place. FedEx can expect to spend $330,000 on their tickets -- an annual rate of $3.9 million.

Figures are based on round-trip, first-class tickets that average $5,200, according to the company's flight operations Web site.

When domiciles are established, pilots who choose to commute from the United States, or from anywhere else, will have to pay their own fares.
FedEx currently has bases in Memphis, Los Angeles, Subic Bay and Anchorage. Memphis is the largest.