United Airlines sets new diversity target for pilot training – WPXI

CHICAGO – United Airlines on Tuesday began accepting applications for its new flight school and pledged to focus on diversity in its efforts to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030.

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In a Press release, the Chicago-based airline said at least half of the new interns will be women and people of color.

Currently, around 7% of United’s pilots are women and 13% are people of color, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In February 2020, United announced that it had purchased the Phoenix-based Westwind School of Aeronautics and renamed it Aviation academy, Fox News reported. However, recruitment has been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

United said nearly 1,000 pilots had left the company since September, according to the Tribune. Last August, American Airlines said 1,200 pilots had left, while unions said 1,806 Delta Air Lines pilots and more than 500 Southwest Airlines pilots had taken early retirement, the newspaper reported.

“Over the next decade, United will train 5,000 pilots who will be guaranteed employment with United, once they meet the requirements of the Aviate program – and our plan is for half of them to be women and people of color, “United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in a Press release. “We are delighted that JPMorgan Chase has agreed to support our work to diversify our ranks of pilots and create new opportunities for thousands of women and people of color who wish to pursue a career in aviation.”

As more people are vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions ease, the demand for travel increases again, The Wall Street Journal reported. United said last week it would resume hiring of pilots it cut off last year, starting with 300 pilots who had job postings and training plans for new hires delayed by the pandemic , the newspaper reported. On Monday, Southwest Airlines said it recalled more than 200 pilots who had agreed to take extended leave to save money, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“We don’t think (the pandemic) has impacted our hiring prospects,” United chief pilot Mary Ann Schaffer said. Tribune. “On the contrary, it will increase the number of people we may need to hire in the future, especially since air travel appears to be rebounding now.”

United Aviate Academy students can look forward to graduating from the one-year program with a commercial pilot’s license and the experience to start working as a flight instructor, the Tribune reported. Moving from academia to a job at United is expected to take around five years, the airline said.

United plans to work with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, the Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association and the Professional Asian Pilots Association to recruit more diverse candidates, the airline said in its Press release. United and JPMorgan Chase have each pledged $ 1.2 million in scholarships this year, and loans will be available.

One year program will cost around $ 100,000, the airline said in its Release.

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