Promotional feature. Pilots enjoy an element of freedom that comes with working in a role that allows you to travel to the far corners of the globe. For those that want to take this aspect of their career a step further, they may consider working as a Contractor Pilot through their own limited company.

Contractor Pilots work for airlines as and when they require extra manpower. This may be to cover for full-time employees who are on annual leave or when a journey requires an extra pair of hands in the cockpit due to long flight times or logistical reasons. Many airlines see using Contractor Pilots when necessary as advantageous because they do not have to pay for training or benefits such as sick pay or holiday allowances, but what are some of the advantages and disadvantages for those who are actually working as Contractor Pilots?


• As a limited company contractor you are your own boss, which gives you control over your working schedule. This means you can pick and choose the contracts that you accept, take holidays when you wish and work around your personal commitments.

• As a Contractor Pilot the airlines that employ you are not required to pay any employee benefits, leaving you with greater scope to negotiate your contract rates. Contractor Pilots are generally paid a daily rate, which will typically include any time spent away rather than just flight hours. For example, if you are required to fly to Singapore, spend 24 hours at the destination and then fly back again, you will generally be paid for the total amount of time spent away on the trip. Contractor Pilot rates will depend on your location, experience and aircraft model.

• When airlines choose you to contract for them they actually want to use your individual skill set. This means that you will come into each role as a skilled professional and so if you normally work as a Captain you will not need to work your way up the ladder in each airline that you work for.


• The aviation industry is constantly evolving and as a Contractor Pilot you are responsible for your own training costs and ensuring that you are up-to-date with current industry standards. Training costs for pilots can make a serious dent into your earnings, but as the cost of the training is directly related to your business you could claim the cost as a business expense.

• Through working as a contractor you are your own boss, which means that you need to take control of your finances and tax payments. If you choose to contract as a director of your own limited company there will be a small amount of paperwork to complete each month.

• As a Contractor Pilot work may often come at short notice and you may find yourself turning work down as you are already committed to another job with another airline.

Click here for tips on tax efficiency for limited company pilots.

This article was provided by Easy AccountancyProvided Easy Accountancy.

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