Short And Long Haul Flights: Finding The Right Balance For Your Career

One of the most important aspects of daily life for flight crews around the world is the length of their flights. Charter pilots and crews, along with regional cargo carriers, only need to travel a few hours during their flights. However, these short haul carriers need to take off and land many more times than their long haul colleagues. International airlines, cargo flights for parcel services, and other long haul flights typically only require one flight a day. However, these flights can last beyond ten hours and require flight over oceans and into the night. Pilots and flight crews who are beginning in their careers need to consider whether they want to stick to short haul flights or the long haul. Each option has a variety of advantages that need to be weighed against each other for an informed decision.

Short haul pilots and crews benefit most from the ability to stay close to home on a daily basis. Charter flights are typically only between islands or small communities, with round trips given several times during a day. These professionals can often sleep at home every night outside of the occasional longer charter in the evening. As well, pilots who are interested in smaller aircraft or cozier cockpit atmospheres should consider short haul flights as part of their career. These smaller aircraft also have the benefit of more customer contact, with many short haul pilots and flight crews getting to know travelers and residents on a personal basis. The only major disadvantage of short haul flights is that there are more flights needed to reach daily quotas, especially for cargo airlines.

Long haul pilots get to see exotic locations and a variety of places during their average day. Flight crews aboard long haul flights have access to more modern aircraft than the average short haul flight, with Airbus and Boeing’s latest offerings allowing for easier maintenance, loading, and landing. While flight crews on long hauls typically don’t get the customer contact that short haul crews receive, the benefit of having more automated functions and expert staff means that the daily flying experience is significantly more comfortable than on short haul flights. The disadvantage to long haul flights is that pilots, crews, and attendants often have to stay in foreign places and away from home for days or weeks at a time to meet their obligations.