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Avelo Airlines Offering $20K Sign-On Bonus, $200 Hourly Captain Salaries In Push To Hire 120 New Pilots

BURBANK (CBSLA) — A discount airline that launched just last year at Hollywood Burbank Airport is offering big bonuses and a hefty hourly salary in its push to hire 120 new pilots.

Avelo Airlines announced a plan Thursday to hire 120 pilots this year, and send pilot salaries sky-high.

"We're committed to attracting and retaining the industry's best pilots," Avelo Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy said in a statement.

For new pilots who sign on, Avelo is offering a $20,000 sign-on bonus – with $5,000 paid after the pilot completes orientation trips and the remaining $15,000 paid after they complete a year with the company – and a $1,800 virtual base stipend. Avelo will also boost pay for new and current pilots starting Feb. 1 – first-year captain hourly pay will go from $135 to $200, with hourly pay for first officers at $90.

By the end of five years with the company, Avelo promises its captains will make $220 an hour, while first officers will be earn $140 an hour.

Avelo is also sweetening the pot with an additional $1,800 per month to help offset the cost of commuting – but if a pilot chooses to live in base, they'll get to pocket that stipend.

"At Avelo Airlines, pilots hire pilots," Avelo COO Capt. Greg Baden said in a statement. "We encourage pilots at any stage in their professional career to apply."

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