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United Airlines Aviate Program Will Train 2500 Women and People of Color

United Airlines is the only major U.S. airline to own its own flight school to help produce the next generation of pilots for the airline.  Today, United announced that it plans to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030 and that at least half of them will be women and people of color. 

To break down the financial barriers that limited access to the airline pilot career path for generations of women and people of color, United has committed to fund $1.2 million in scholarships. The airline’s credit card partner, JPMorgan Chase has also committed $1.2 million to support women and people of color who are accepted to United Aviate Academy.  For those who may need additional financing, United has also partnered with Sallie Mae to offer private student loans for highly qualified, highly motivated eligible applicants.  United Aviate Academy expects to enroll 100 students in 2021.

“Over the next decade, United will train 5,000 pilots who will be guaranteed a job with United, after they complete the requirements of the Aviate program – and our plan is for half of them to be women and people of color,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “We’re excited that JPMorgan Chase has agreed to support our work to diversify our pilot ranks and create new opportunities for thousands of women and people of color who want to pursue a career in aviation.”

“We are proud to partner with United to support the Aviate Academy’s mission to enable thousands to pursue their dream as a commercial airline pilot,” said Ed Olebe, President of Chase Co-Brand Cards.  “Investing in this program directly aligns with our efforts to advance racial equity by expanding career development opportunities and making tangible progress in a field where women and people of color are underrepresented.” 

United will leverage its long-standing relationships with a variety of organizations, including the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association and the Professional Asian Pilots Association to help identify and steer highly qualified, diverse candidates to the United Aviate Academy. As key partners, these organizations will select the applicants to receive the scholarships and grants funded by United and JPMorgan Chase.

Hampton University, in Virginia, is one of three historically black colleges and universities to partner with United to identify top talent and recruit them into the Aviate program.  Students will be connected with dedicated ambassadors and coaches who will help guide them.

Students who begin the United Aviate Academy in Phoenix with no flight experience can become a private pilot in two months and within a year receive their commercial license and start earning income.  With five years, they can become a United Airlines pilot.

The United Aviate Academy’s first class of 20 pilots will begin their studies in the third quarter of 2021, with the class graduating in the first half of 2022. Graduates will then have opportunities to further pursue their careers while working specifically within the Aviate ecosystem at partner universities, professional flight training organizations and United Express carriers.

For more information on Aviate, please visit