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20 Highest Paying Airlines in the World for Pilots

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Being an airline pilot is one of the most admired jobs one can have. They have the opportunity to work abroad and explore the globe. Pilot pay varies based on the kind of aircraft, the destination, the number of hours, and a variety of other criteria. Given the danger involved in transporting hundreds of tourists from one continent to another, it is no surprise that they are making a lot of money. Which airline pays its pilots the highest in the world, then is the question of the day. Don’t worry! This post is put up to answer that question. In this post, you’ll find the 20 highest-paying airlines in the world.

But becoming a commercial or private pilot is not a simple journey. Earning the necessary experience to be qualified to fly a commercial aircraft demands a significant time commitment over many years. Furthermore, enrolling in an aviation school and obtaining your certification might be very expensive.

Most of us have at some point or another professed a desire to become pilots. But have you ever wondered how much they make? If you already work as a pilot, you might be interested to see whether another airline pays its pilots more than yours does. In any event, this essay will protect you.

We’ve gathered data on average compensation, pay for new pilots, and pay for the most seasoned pilots. Additionally, these airlines regularly train their staff to provide them with the knowledge necessary to use the ever-evolving aviation technologies.  For the sake of this guide, we’ve consulted a range of sources, including the airlines themselves, self-reporting websites like Payscale and Glassdoor, as well as data straight from active pilots.

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18 Best Paying Airlines in the World for Pilots

  1. Delta Airlines
  2. Lufthansa
  3. Alaska Airline
  4. United Airlines
  5. Hawaiian Airline
  6. American Airways
  7. Air China
  8. Southwest Airlines
  9. China Southern Airlines
  10. JetBlue Airlines
  11. Qatar Airways
  12. Frontier Airlines
  13. Air France
  14. China Eastern Airlines
  15. Ryanair
  16.  WestJet
  17. Spirit Airway
  18. Allegiant Air
  19. Air Canada
  20.  Sun Country Airlines

1. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is the highest paying airline in the worldThe highest paying airline in the world for pilots is Delta, which pays an average salary of $173,785 per year. With a history dating back to 1929, Delta Airlines is also one of the biggest and most established airlines in the world. In terms of fleet size, Delta Airlines is in second place globally.

A Delta Airlines pilot’s base salary is $106,000. The starting pay for Delta pilots is $189,000 after promotion to Captain, though. The average salary for a Delta Airlines Captain is about $210,000, however, pilots of Boeing 777s may make up to $350,000 in a single year or $298,500 each year with incentives.

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2. Lufthansa

Lufthansa is the second highest-paying airline in the worldWith an average annual salary of 180,000 euros ($190,000) for captains, Lufthansa is one of the highest-paying airlines in the world. Captains on the highest level can earn as much as 285,000 euros ($300,000) a year.

Lufthansa is the biggest airline in Germany. It is the second-largest airline in Europe by passenger volume when its subsidiaries are included and is one of the members of the largest airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance formed in 1997.

3. Alaska Airline

20 highest paying airlines in the world

Alaska is one of the highest-paying airlines in the world with an average annual salary of $194,600. The 77-year-old is the oldest airline company in the US. As an experienced captain in the company, you can expect to earn as much as $238,400 on average.

Current and former pilots at Alaskan Airlines also report a generous profit sharing and bonus program that in some years paid as much as $10,000. The salary range for professionals with twelve years of experience is between $225,900 to $266,000.

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4. United Airlines

NAHCO emerges ground handler for United Airlines – The Sun NigeriaUnited Airlines is one of the highest-paying airlines in the world. It was founded in 1926 and is one of the major airlines in the United States.  United Airlines is currently the third-largest airline globally by fleet size and route network.

At United Airlines, a pilot makes an average of $129,664 per year. The most seasoned pilots at United had the highest earning potential in the sector, at $308,400, according to our data. At United, new pilots may anticipate earning $79,800 a year.

Additionally, United Airlines has a bonus program that offers qualified employees the chance to receive additional money. This might cost anything between $2,500 and $15,000 annually.

5. Hawaiian Airline

Hawaiian Air Resumes Honolulu - Fukuoka Service After 5 Years of Absence - KN AviationThe major provider of commercial flights to and from the US state of Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines. Additionally, the airline is the tenth-largest commercial airline in the US. It’s interesting to note that Hawaiian Airlines is the oldest US carrier to have never experienced a deadly accident or hull loss.

Hawaiian airline is also one of the highest-paying airlines for pilots. First officers earn between $32,000 to

New pilots typically make between $32,400 and $78,000. The pay scale for captains with at least 12 years of experience is $304,000 to $364,770.

A pilot at this airline makes an average of $128,450 per year. The highest-paid pilots at Hawaiian can expect to make $294,000 a year, making it one of the highest-paying airlines while also frequently flying over some breathtaking landscapes. Even their less seasoned pilots make an average of $73,000 yearly.

Like some of the other airlines on this list, Hawaiian Airlines also has a bonus plan in place for pilots that can lead to even higher earnings.

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6. American Airways

American Airlines is one of the highest paying airlines in the world

Additionally, American Airlines offers its pilots a number of highly attractive schemes for extra compensation. This covers profit-sharing, cash bonuses, and other benefits. The annual value of this additional remuneration might range from $2,500 to $15,000.

American Airlines is one of the major airlines in the United States with its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. In terms of fleet size, destinations, and revenue, the airline is the largest. The 1,100 flights operated by the American Airlines Group travel to over 62 countries.

The airline also pays its pilots some of the highest salaries in the industry. American Airways pays its first officer pilots an annual salary that ranges from $90,000 to $145,000. Salary ranges for senior captains are between $234,000 and $294,000 annually.

7. Air China

Air China is the highest paying airline in ChinaAir China is one of the best-paying airlines in the world. It is one of the “Big Three” mainland Chinese airlines and is a major player in the Chinese aviation industry. The airline offers flights to both local and foreign locations from its Beijing headquarters in Shunyi District.

Air China pays its first pilots an annual compensation that ranges from $76,000 to $121,000. The salary range for captains with years of experience is $180,000 to $309,600.

8. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines With headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Southwest Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the United States. Southwest Airlines is currently the world’s largest low-cost carrier. The airline is also the largest operator of Bering 737 worldwide covering over 101 destinations in the United States and over 10 countries.

Southwest Airlines has one of the highest average pilot pay rates in the industry with a pilot’s yearly income of $171,800. Their most seasoned pilots make $256,400 a year, while newer pilots with less experience may anticipate earning an average of a little over $79,100. In addition to having one of the highest average salaries and highest pay for seniority, Southwest reports having some of the happiest employees among all airlines.

9. China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines

With headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Southwest Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the United States. Southwest Airlines is currently the world’s largest low-cost carrier. The airline is also the largest operator of Bering 737 worldwide covering over 101 destinations in the United States and over 10 countries.

Southwest Airlines has one of the highest average pilot pay rates in the industry with a pilot’s yearly income of $171,800. Their most seasoned pilots make $256,400 a year, while newer pilots with less experience may anticipate earning an average of a little over $79,100. In addition to having one of the highest average salaries and highest pay for seniority, Southwest reports having some of the happiest employees among all airlines.

10. JetBlue Airlines

JetBlue AirwaysJetBlue Airways is the seventh-largest airline in the United States by passenger carriers. First officer pilot salaries at JetBlue Airlines range from $89,000 to $180,000 annually. Captains can make between $234,000 and $269,000 a year. The average pay for the top 10% of earners there is $247,000 per year.

This is consistent with the pattern we observed, whereby some of the smaller, regional, and passenger-serving airlines pay their pilots a little less than some of the major national airlines. The annual salary of pilots who are just starting out in their careers and who lack seniority or experience is closer to $82,000.

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11. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the best paying airline in the worldQatar airline is a state-owned airline and is one of the highest paying airlines in the world. It has its corporate office at the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha and serves more than 150 foreign destinations with over 200 aircraft in its fleet.

Between $83,000 to $139,000 is the typical wage for a first officer pilot employed by Qatar. With Qatar Airways, senior captains may expect to make between $171,000 and $195,000.

12. Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is one of the highest-paying airlines in the world. Pilots with Frontier Airlines make $114,000 on average yearly. Earnings at Frontier might reach upwards of $235,000 for those with the highest seniority and expertise. However, less experienced and newly licensed pilots might anticipate making $67,700 a year.

In addition to being an excellent location to get experience, Frontier Airlines is another airline on the list that pays somewhat less than some of its rivals due to its size and reputation.

13. Air France

18 highest paying airlines in the world for pilotsFrench flag airline Air France has its main office in Tremblay-en-France. An Air France-KLM group company, the airline. 175 locations throughout 78 different countries are serviced by Air France, along with 36 domestic locations.

Air France’s first officers make between $56,000 and $133,000 a year on average. Between $235,000 to $303,000 is the average yearly salary for airline captains.

14. China Eastern Airlines

Best paying airlines in the worldFollowing China Southern Airlines in terms of passenger volume, China Eastern Airlines is the country’s second-largest airline. On the premises of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, in the China Eastern Airlines Building, is where the airline has its headquarters. The airline served 1,054 locations in 177 different countries with over 600 fleets of aircraft.

Earnings range from $150,000 to $216,000 per year for pilots employed with China Eastern airlines.

15. Ryanair

Ryanair AirIrish ultra-low-cost airline Ryanair was established in 1984 and has its headquarters in Swords, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The airline offers service to more than 40 nations worldwide.

Earnings for Ryanair pilots range from $158,000 to $211,000 per year.

16. WestJet

18 highest Paying airlines in the world for pilotsWestJet Airlines is one of the highest-paying airlines in the world. At this airline, a pilot makes an average of $92,000 per year. The average salary for WestJet pilots with the greatest experience is $147,000, while the beginning salary for new hires is in the region of $64,500.

Another airline that gives its staff incentives and profit-sharing is WestJet. Based on the economic conditions that impact the airline, this might vary considerably, but according to our analysis, the range is between $0 and $10,000 each year.

17 Spirit Airline

Spirit Airlines pays its pilots an average compensation of $148,500 per year. Their top-paid pilots makes an average of $224,370 per year, while entry-level pilots typically make around $52,300.
For its younger pilots, Spirit does provide one of the lowest incomes on the list, but it’s still an excellent location to start your career and get experience. Once you have that experience, you may either advance professionally at Spirit and earn more money, or you can try out one of the other airlines.

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18. Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air is one of the highest paying airlines in the worldCompleting our list of the top 18 best-paying airlines for pilots is Allegiant Air with an average annual salary for a pilot of $103,667. Pilots that have the most seniority and experience average $200,750 while those with less experience just starting out average $49,900.

19. Air Canada

Air Canada

At Air Canada Airlines, a pilot’s yearly compensation is on average $109,900. (we converted these figures to US Dollars for comparison purposes). The average yearly salary for their most seasoned pilots is $208,600. The typical yearly salary for newer pilots with less experience is $78,500.

20. Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country

Sun Country completes our list of the 20 highest paying airlines in the world for pilots. The average annual salary for a pilot at Sun Country Airlines is $113,500. The most experienced pilots (top 10%) can expect to make an average of $219,000 annually while beginners can expect to average around $66,100 per year.

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