Rainbow Ryders looks to expand workforce by training, hiring hot air balloon pilots

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Rainbow Ryders is looking to hire hot air balloon pilots.

The company is launching a new pilot program that provides training, lasting about a year, with the goal of landing a person a job at Rainbow Ryders.

"Our pilots are making very good wages, anywhere from $50,000 or $60,000 and up, plus benefits," said Scott Appleman, president and CEO of Rainbow Ryders.

One of the requirements is enjoying being around other people.

"There’s definitely a little bit of a culture that goes along with hot air ballooning because it’s obviously very early mornings," Appleman said.

Appleman expects a lot of interest in the program because so many New Mexicans have lost their job or decided to change careers during the pandemic.

"We feel as though there’s a large gap with former like Southwest or American Airlines type pilots that may have been laid off," he said. "And those folks can just kind of roll into this. They’ve got all the qualifications and all they would need is a little bit of time in the balloon."

Rainbow Ryders expect to accept two to four people into the program, and which they plan to expand over the years.

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