United Airlines Will Become Only U.S. Carrier to Own and Operate Their Own Flight Training Academy

In very exciting news for aspiring pilots, United Airlines announced Wednesday that they will become the only U.S. carrier to own and operate their own flight training academy for training and developing pilots.


United Boeing 737 MAX 9 - Courtesy United Airlines

United Airlines announced today that they will become the only U.S. carrier to own and operate an in-house flight academy to train and develop aspiring pilots. The new initiative is an expansion of United’s Aviate pilot program established last year and will create The United Aviate Academy through a purchase agreement signed on Wednesday. The new academy will give United more visibility and direction in recruitment, allowing the carrier to proactively increase the number of women and minority pilots. The company expects to graduate around 300 new pilots during The United Aviate Academy’s first full year. The academy, which currently operates as “Westwind School of Aeronautics” in Phoenix Arizona will provide aspiring aviators the most direct route to achieve their dream of becoming a pilot for United Airlines. In Wednesday’s announcement, United’s Managing Director of Aviate, Captain Bebe O’Neil said,


“We have developed the Aviate program in collaboration with the Air Line Pilots Association, International to have greater influence on the next generation of aviators at United. Launching our own academy provides us with the unique opportunity to not only ensure we maintain the ideal number of quality candidates within our pilot pipeline, but also play a significant role in recruiting, developing and welcoming those with diverse backgrounds to the United family.”

Current Aviate Partners - Courtesy United Airlines

United Airlines plans on hiring over 10,000 new pilots by 2029 and in addition to launching the flight academy, the carrier is committed to reducing the onerous financial barriers often facing aspiring pilots. United is also working with financial institutions to create attractive financing terms such as low interest rates and reasonable grace periods to make the program available to a wider range of candidates. The airline also plans to introduce scholarships that will encourage women and minorities to consider joining the United Family.


United’s Aviate program was launched last year and provides the most direct path in the industry to a major airline, with an Aviate regional partner requirement of 24 months and 2,000 flight hours. The program also offers more career options and entry points as well as a choice of select United Express carriers. Additionally, Aviate provides career path clarity, access to mentoring from United pilots and immediate inclusion in the United Family, including certain travel benefits



Source: United Airlines

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