QUOTE(Zoomies12 @ Mar 29 2011, 11:36 AM) [snapback]132970[/snapback]
When a new F/O begins at a major airline is he or she assigned to a smaller aircraft and then move to larger aircraft as a F/O before becoming a captain? Or is it possible to go straight in as a First Officer on a 767/777/747 and then upgrade to captain in that aircraft? If the new guys are able to choose their aircraft is it just ranked on who has more hours/experience?
This is an old thread but I thought that I'd take a shot at it anyway.
It all depends on the company and what kind of agreement they have with their pilots. I can speak mainly for the U.S. carriers that have formal working agreements with their crews.
This is a simple question. Everything, and I mean everything, is based on seniority. The most important seniority number that a pilot will get once they are hired is their master seniority list number. That's where they lie with respect to all of the pilots who fly for that carrier. Every airline has a junior crew base and a junior airplane at that base. Believe me, you're not going to get to go to Honolulu and captain a 747 when you start your first job. So our new guy/gal gets sent out to a cold, wet, dark place to start their career with their new airline. There is also a bid line seniority list for each base. You bid your monthly schedules based on your position on the base seniority list and within your current crew position. Each airplane type assigned to that base has a captain, first officer and (if it applies) a flight engineer seniority list. You can be really junior with the company but still hold good seniority within your base and airplane if you're flying somewhere that not many people wanna be on equipment that isn't particularly popular. Down the line, as crewmembers retire, die (yep, it happens) and the company grows (hopefully) you'll have the opportunity to bid out to a better base and/or better equipment. Or you can hang out at the junior base and move up the seniority list for that individual base. That means getting better trips sooner and maybe even getting a captain bid way earlier than you had originally planned.