Well done United Airlines for this initiative!
United will train 50% women and minority pilots
United Airlines is the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, and the airline is accepting new applications starting today as it embarks on a plan to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030 (upon completion of the program, pilots are guaranteed to that a job at United).
That’s cool in and of itself as we see the industry expect such a high demand for pilots in the years to come. What’s even cooler is that United’s goal is that at least half of those pilots are women and people of color.
With scholarship commitments from United Airlines and JP Morgan Chase, the United Aviate Academy offers thousands of students the opportunity to pursue careers in commercial aviation. United has initially committed to providing US $ 1.2 million in scholarships, while JP Morgan Chase has also committed to providing US $ 1.2 million in scholarships. That’s great, but it doesn’t work in the end The far considering how expensive flight training is.
Additionally, United is working with Sallie Mae to offer private student loans to ensure that no highly skilled and highly motivated candidate is turned away for not being able to afford to enroll.
The United Aviate Academy expects to enroll 100 students in 2021.
Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people aboard our aircraft every day. Because of this, we plan that 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train over the next ten years will be women or people of color. Find out more and apply now: https://t.co/VbOFvFOksB pic.twitter.com/r0ScH6MQAJ
– United Airlines (@united) April 6, 2021
This is a fantastic initiative
Just to show why this is necessary, only 5% of pilots in the US are women. More worryingly, just over 1% of flight captains are female, meaning the vast majority of female pilots are first officers.
So it shows you that progress is being made (in the sense that there are more entry-level pilots than senior female pilots), but it also shows you how much more work there is to be done.
The percentage of US pilots who are colored people is even lower. And perhaps the most shocking statistic of all is that US airlines have fewer than 150 black female pilots.
Great respect to United Airlines for the goal of training 5,000 pilots through their flight academy by 2030 and making half of these pilots either women or people of color.
While diversity improves in many areas, airline flight decks are definitely lagging behind. This mainly depends on how expensive it is to get training to be a pilot, which puts many people at a disadvantage. On the surface, at least, United’s latest initiative seeks to address this.
I look forward to the day when there is no more novelty to have a pilot or a person of color.