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Fri, 29 September 2023

United Airlines Launches U.S. Military Pilot Program

(29/09/23)  United Airlines has launched a military pilot program designed to give full-time, active-duty U.S. military pilots access to conditional job offers as a First Officer with the airline.

Under the terms of the new program, successful candidates must first take part in an interview and then complete all required flight training and certification prior to joining the airline.

An important element of United's program is that candidates don't need to hold an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) at the time of application. Instead, they can obtain their ATP before joining United – providing flexibility for service members, including starting at United when the time is right for them and their families.

"At United we are committed to investing in individuals who have served and are serving our country – whose military skills and background are invaluable to our airline," said Scott Kirby, United CEO. "Launching this program is a win-win: our airline gets direct access to some of the best, most talented aviators in the world, and military pilots – and their families – get the time they need to plan their civilian career while still serving."

United Airlines Boeing 787-8 reg: N30913. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
United Airlines Boeing 787-8 reg: N30913. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

Interested active-duty military pilots can learn more about the United Military Pilot Program and apply for the program here (opens in a new window/tab).

Current or former military pilots who already meet United's mainline hiring requirements and are less than six months from availability, or already available, or are flying in the reserve component can now apply as a First Officer.

Currently, United has over 16,000 pilots, including over 3,000 who have served or currently serve in the United States Armed Forces. United employs nearly 7,700 military veterans and 1,500 actively serving personnel across various departments and functions, including many serving in leadership and executive positions.

"As a former military pilot, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to transition to a civilian commercial pilot, but through this new program we're providing the necessary tools, resources, and support system to ensure a direct path to the United flight deck," said United Captain Michael Bonner, Managing Director of Aviate and Pilot Strategy and a former U.S. Air Force and Navy pilot. "Whether you are an active-duty pilot or approaching retirement, I encourage you to join the largest widebody fleet in the U.S."

On top of the United Military Pilot Program, there are other paths available to becoming a pilot at United depending on flight experience:

First Officer Hiring: This path is for experienced pilots who meet mainline hiring requirements, who are ready to fly for United now and do not need an alternate path or program.

United Aviate Program: United's pilot career development program designed for pilots with their Private Pilot Certificate (PPL) who are either learning to fly or are building experience with an Aviate-participating university, flight school, Part 135 operator or United Express carrier.

United Aviate Academy: United's wholly-owned flight school in Goodyear, Arizona for aspiring aviators who want to learn to fly with little to no flight experience – with the goal of at least half of the students being women or people of color.

Last December, United ordered 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options to purchase 100 more. Combined with already other aircraft orders, the airline expects to take delivery of about 700 new aircraft by 2032.

Over the last 24 months, United has hired over 4,000 new pilots and expects to hire over 10,000 pilots this decade.

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