Mesa Airlines launches $20,000 direct-entry Captain referral incentive

A United Airlines jet operated by Mesa Airlines parked at the terminal.
NS777, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mesa Airlines, is launching a one of a kind Direct-Entry Captain Referral Program, offering a $20,000 incentive to anyone who successfully refers a qualified pilot for employment with the company as a Captain.

The Program is only available to nominees who are legally authorized to work in the United States, and will run until September 15, 2023.

Direct-Entry Captain Referral Program

This unique initiative offers an enticing $20,000 incentive to individuals who successfully refer qualified pilots for employment with the company as Captains. With this program, Mesa Airlines aims to attract new talent, reward those contributing to its growth, and enhance its position in the industry.

Paving the Way for Qualified Pilots

To be eligible for the coveted Captain position, referred pilots must meet specific criteria:

  1. Possess a minimum of 1,000 hours of qualifying commercial air carrier operating experience.
  2. Hold an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP).
  3. Have accumulated 100 flight hours within the past 12 months.

Mesa Airlines is enthusiastic about the potential of this referral program to identify motivated and skilled pilots who share the company’s values and aspirations.


Chairman & CEO Comments

Jonathan Ornstein, Chairman and CEO of Mesa Airlines, expressed his endorsement of the program, emphasizing its dual benefits of fostering growth and talent acquisition:

“We are thrilled to launch this program as a way to reward anyone willing to help us grow and attract new talent to our company. We are looking for motivated and qualified pilots who want to join our family and grow with us as we expand our operations.”

He highlighted the remarkable opportunity that the program presents—a chance to advance one’s aviation career, establish a direct flow to United Airlines through their Aviate program, and earn a substantial bonus simultaneously.

Unveiling the Captain’s Benefits

Pilots successfully selected as part of the Direct-Entry Captain Referral Program will be privy to a host of benefits:

  1. Transition to United Airlines through the Aviate program after accumulating 1600 Pilot in Command hours at Mesa.
  2. A generous $110,000 signing bonus upon completing training.
  3. A 1-for-1 longevity match, based on qualifying experience at any Part 121 or Part 135 carrier, enabling candidates to earn up to $215 per flight hour and enjoy accelerated vacation accrual rates.
  4. Comprehensive Mesa benefits, including dental, vision, medical, 401(k), and travel benefits.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Mesa Air Group, Inc. is the holding company of Mesa Airlines, a regional air carrier providing scheduled passenger service to 106 cities in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas, Cuba, and Mexico.

Mesa operates all its flights as either United Express, or DHL Express flights pursuant to the terms of capacity purchase agreements entered with United Airlines, Inc., and DHL. The operator also provides cargo services out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Referral Fee Structure

The incentive of $20,000 is disbursed in two stages:

  1. The referrer receives the initial payment of $10,000 upon the referred pilot’s successful completion of training.
  2. The remaining $10,000 is awarded to the referrer after the referred pilot completes six months of service, starting from their first flying duty with Mesa.

For more information on how to secure your referral bonus, and to refer a Direct-Entry Captain go to and submit the application.

The program is effective immediately and will run until September 15 2023.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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