What are pilots’ flying schedules like?

The working week or month of a pilot can vary greatly depending on the airline they fly for and the type of flying they are doing. 

Shorthaul pilots will typically fly for a block of between 4 and 7 days before getting a set number of days off and on a working day they will fly anywhere between 2 and 6 flights per day, depending on the length of flight. Some airlines employ a fixed rostering system whereby the pilots have working patterns such as 5 days on, 3 days off, 5 days on, 4 days off, whereas other airlines have more random rostering systems in place. 

In the case of longhaul schedules, due to the length of the flights involved, pilots usually have to stay a day or two (or sometimes more) at their destination before operating a return flight back to base. They will then usually have a few days off at home before embarking on their next trip. A typical month for a longhaul pilot would likely consist of 4 or 5 trips away. 

Some airlines also use longhaul aircraft on short services and as such, pilots in these airlines can do a combination of short and longhaul flying on their rosters. 

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