United Airlines started implementing its ambitious plan to train 5,000 new flight crew by 2030. The Chicago-based American set the new flight crew diversity goal and announced it has started accepting applications.
On April 6, 2021, United Airlines began accepting applications of potential students at its new Phoenix-based pilot training academy. The American air carrier moved forward with its plan to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030 expecting that at least 50% of students would be women pilots and people of color. Speaking to local media, Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby disclosed that over the next decade the airline aimed to train thousands of new pilots who would “be guaranteed a job”.
The air carrier also committed to designate $1.2 million for scholarships to provide “generations of women and people of color” a possibility to start a pilot career in the airline. According to United Airlines, it typically takes up to 5 years for a student to run through the whole studying process starting from the flight school before getting the job in the airline.
While United Airlines did not disclose the exact cost for pilot training, it stated that it has already partnered with the Student Loan Marketing Association of the US to offer student loans for applicators as an option.
In February 2020, the airline signed a purchase agreement with the United Aviate Academy, aiming to become the only major air carrier in the US to own a flight training school and increase the percentage of women and minorities who become flight crew members. At the time the airline shared its expectations to enroll 100 students in 2021. However, the training process had been put on hold for a while due to the ongoing pandemic.