MIAMI – By 2030, United Airlines (UA) plans to train 5,000 new pilots at its new pilot training academy, at least half being women and people of color.

Being the only major US airline with its own flight school, United Aviate Academy, UA announced in a statement that it would begin accepting applications for its commercial airline pilot training program. After completing the Aviate program’s criteria, all 5,000 pilots will be guaranteed a job with UA.

United aims to hire more than 10,000 pilots in the next decade and have the largest fleet of wide-body aircraft in North America, offering new candidates opportunities to advance their careers within UA, according to the airline.

Photo: United Airlines

Organizations Involved in the Initiative


The academy plans to enroll 100 students in 2021, thanks to scholarship commitments from UA and JPMorgan Chase. The academy’s first class of 20 pilots will start their studies in the third quarter of 2021 and will graduate in the first half of 2022.

JPMorgan Chase, the airline’s credit card partner, has pledged US$1.2m to help women and people of color admitted into United Aviate Academy.

The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association, and the Professional Asian Pilots Association will all assist in the selection of candidates for the United and JPMorgan Chase scholarships and grants.

Also, Delaware State University, Elizabeth City State University, and Hampton University have collaborated with the organization to find top talent and attract them into the Aviate program.

Additionally, UA has teamed up with Sallie Mae to provide private student loans to United Aviate Academy students that need additional funding.

Photo: United Airlines

Aviate Pilot Career Program


The airline states that candidates can get in Aviate, UA’s pilot career development program offering aspiring and established pilots the most direct path to its flight deck, in as little as 2 months by training at United Aviate Academy.

Candidates can join United Aviate Academy and work toward their Private Pilot License (PPL). Once they receive their PPL, they will then have the opportunity to be selected into Aviate and be on their way to UA. With the program, aspiring pilots will have only one UA interview early in their pilot training for smooth transition to becoming pilots for UA.

Today, UA has one of the most diverse pilot populations of any US carrier with nearly 20% of its pilot group made up of women and people of color. 


Featured image: United Airlines