Freelance pilot is a contractor

Freelance pilot, or freelancer is referred to as a contractor or a contract pilot. It is the pilot holding the pilot's license and the required ratings to perform the flight on the particular aircraft. A freelance pilot is usually a self-employed person or offers his pilot services under the umbrella of his own company. Thus, there is no employment relationship between the freelancer and the airline or a operator. 

The freelance pilot can be leased to the airline, for example, by a staffing agency, or directly through the pilot's own (usually limited liability) company.

Nowadays the trend of such freelance engagement of pilots prevails. Most pilots working for yellow-blue airline, for example, from Ireland are freelancers. The employment of freelance pilot is generally opposed by pilot unions in countries such as Germany and Denmark.

Freelance pilots representing a great financial saving for the airline, as in most cases the freelance pilot cannot claim the  employee benefits and he is usually obliged to pay all taxes, health insurance, social insurance and pension plans separately.