A career as a commercial pilot and a business jet pilot are similar in that they are both very exciting, rewarding, and interesting. But in many ways, they are very different. Ultimately the career path chosen is up to the individual and their desired lifestyle and experience they are looking for. So, which career option is best for you?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of being a commercial pilot and a business jet pilot.
Commercial pilots receive a monthly roster with clear indications on what days they’re flying, for how long, and to which destinations. You know your destinations and flights with exact departure and arrival times well ahead of time. Even though you are required to be flying on weekends or holidays, when you work at an airline, you have your schedule so you can plan things and your days off.
As a business jet pilot, your schedules are based on the client’s needs. So, you may not always have a set schedule, know how long the flight will be, or even your destination in advance. That also means you can expect changes on short notice. As a result, Business pilots must be more adaptable with their changing schedules.
As an airline pilot, most likely, you have your regular destinations, with the same airports and the same routes. But considering the size of aircraft you’d be flying, there will be many, many new passengers every flight.
As a business jet pilot, you may fly for a corporation or individual customers to destination around the world. As a result, even your passengers know your name and shake your hand and greet you.
As a commercial pilot, most of your day revolves around flying the aircraft. As a business jet pilot, you aren’t only responsible for carrying your passengers safely to their destination, you are also responsible for loading baggage, ensuring the required catering is on-board, providing the safety briefing and confirming ground transportation is onsite upon arrival. You are also the main point of contact for maintenance and logistics during a layover.
Many commercial pilots fly to vacation destinations around the world. Typically, they only stay long enough to get rest and fly out on a different plane the following day, so they usually don’t get much time to explore the destination. Working business aviation pilots often fly to vacation destinations as well. However, crew often stays with the aircraft at every destination and are able to spend time enjoying the destination.
Commercial pilots get to fly some of the most modern and advanced aircraft in the world which can make it even more exciting to be a commercial pilot. The business aviation industry also operates aircraft as sophisticated as the machines flown by airlines. The variety of business jets have grown to include aircraft like the Gulfstream G650, the Dassault Falcon 8X, and the Bombardier Global 7000 – all of which are capable of carrying a dozen people in comfort on flights of 6,000 to 7,000 nautical miles nonstop.
So which is best for you? Commercial pilot or business jet pilot?
If you have a private pilot's license and think you may be interested in a business aviation type rating, discuss with a CAE team member today!
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