United Airlines to begin flight school, plans to increase diversity


April 7, 2021:-United Airlines began accepting applications for its flight academy on Tuesday, in hiring push 10,000 pilots by 2030 as its aviators reach the federally mandated age of retirement, that is, 65.

The airline announced last year in February that it bought a flight school, but the pandemic forced it to hold the training plans. United is now reopening plans to refill pilot ranks and prepare for growth as travel demand returns. Last week, it said it would start hiring pilots again, beginning with 300 candidates whose hiring process was halted by the pandemic.

United’s flight school is meant to train pilots with little-to-no experience. United said it is interesting to train 5,000 pilots and aims for half of them to be women and people of color. Just above 7% of United’s above 12,000 pilots are women, and 13% are people of color, United said.

The first class of 20 pilots will start in the third quarter with a graduation date sometime in the first half of 2022, United said.

United, with other airlines, have ramped up pilot recruitment in the latest years. Students will apply for United’s Aviate recruiting program, which extends conditional job offers to candidates as they build up experience in training and working at small carriers. It could take a student nearly five years from starting flight school until reaching a job at United.

United declined to say how much the flight academy would cost students. Still, it said it would fund $1.2 million in scholarships “to break down the financial barriers that limited access to the airline pilot career path for generations of women and people of color. JPMorgan Chase said it would provide another $1.2 million in scholarships to help increase diversity.

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