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United is looking to build its own diverse pipeline of pilots

United Airlines says it will train 5,000 people this decade, including applicants with no flight experience, and plans to have half of them women or people of color.

United will take a different approach, particularly at Lufthansa in Germany, taking people early in their flying careers and training them at their own academy, which they bought last year. However, United will continue to recruit pilots from traditional sources, such as the military.

The airline officials said that they will start accepting applicants to the United Flight Academy on Tuesday.

The issue of pilot shortages, which is not universally accepted, was hotly debated at the airline before the epidemic hit, and then receded as airlines around the world landed on planes and landed their pilots. travel

Now the journey is back, although it has not yet returned to 2019 levels. United will soon face a small shortage of pilots. United announced last week that it would hire about 300 pilots, many of whom had received contract offers before the trip evaporated last year.

The shortage at United և and other major carriers will increase in the coming years as more airline pilots approach the mandatory US retirement age of 65.

It is expensive to learn to fly, to get the 1500 hours of flight time required for the pilots of the American airline. Usually $ 100,000 is listed. To attract applicants, United says it will offer a further $ 1.2 million scholarship later this year, but many applicants will likely have to borrow against the promise that if they succeed, they will earn a pilot’s salary at United in a few years. :

Critics of the current pilot training system say that young pilots earn hours on small-cylinder aircraft, which are less like twin-engine aircraft. United CEO Scott Kirby says United bought last year at the Arizona Airlines academy to train people “strictly focused on safety” to become commercial airline pilots rather than pilots of their own aircraft.

United said the academy students will receive a major license within two months and a more advanced license within a year. They would gain flight experience for one of United’s regional airline partners, and in five years they could become United pilots or first officers.

United announced a good choreographer of its program in the advertising blitz, which stressed the airline’s hope that half of the academy graduates will be women or minorities. Groups that are currently under-represented in cockpits. United said about 7% of its pilots were women and 13% were people of color.

The airline said it would work with the University of Delaware, Elizabeth City State University and Hampton University to find and recruit people to the academy.

Carol Hopson, the second pilot of the United States based in New Jersey, who flies a Boeing 737s, said she hopes the academy will give young black women less detour than she did. to fly in the 30s տալ To give exemplary models to black girls in aviation.

“For people who have never seen a pilot like me, it allows them to say, ‘Blow it up, I can do it too,'” Hopson said.


Contact David Koenig at www.twitter.com/airlinewriter


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