United Airlines to open flight school later this year in hiring push, plans to increase diversity

united airlines to open flight school later this year in hiring push plans to increase diversity

A pilot walks by United Airlines planes as they sit parked at gates at San Francisco International Airport on April 12, 2020 in San Francisco, California.

United Airlines started accepting applications for its flight academy on Tuesday, part of a push to hire 10,000 pilots by 2030 as more of its aviators reach the federally mandated retirement age of 65.

The airline announced in February 2020 that it bought a flight school, but the Covid pandemic forced it to put training plans on hold. United is now resuming plans to refill pilot ranks and prepare for growth as travel demand returns. Last week, it said it will start hiring pilots again, starting with 300 candidates whose hiring process was halted by the pandemic.

United’s flight school is meant to provide training to pilots with little-to-no experience. United said it wants to train 5,000 pilots and aims for half of them to be women and people of color. Just over 7% of United’s more than 12,000 pilots are women and 13% are people of color, United said.

The first class of 20 pilots will begin in the third quarter with a graduation date sometime in the first half of 2022, United said.

United and other airlines have ramped up pilot recruitment in recent years…

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