Republic Airways cuts pilot hiring plan for 2014, CEO says

Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:31pm EST

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Republic Airways Holdings Inc expects to hire 350 pilots in 2014, down from 600 originally planned as it cuts its planned flying in wake of U.S. rules requiring more experience for those workers, Chief Executive Bryan Bedford said in an interview with Reuters.

The CEO said he expects pilot wages will rise because carriers will now be competing for a scarce pool of qualified applicants.

Bedford's comments followed Republic's disclosure on Tuesday that its pre-tax income would be reduced this year because it was forced to pull planes from service due to a lack of qualified pilots.

"What we've seen is a steady decrease in the qualified applicant flow since August of last year," Bedford said. "It's become clear that there just aren't going to be enough pilots to satisfy our demand."

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