WMU College of Aviation announces partnership with United Airlines

The Aviate program provides the most direct route to a job offer with United.

United Airlines has named the WMU College of Aviation a partner flight school for its newly announced pilot career development initiative United Aviate. This partnership will give qualified and accepted WMU flight students the opportunity to accelerate their careers and transition to United Airlines sooner and with more connectivity than ever before.

“As the airline industry continues to address the shortage of highly qualified aviation professionals, we are very proud United chose Western Michigan University to help the company continue to bring the highest qualified candidates into their pilot pipeline,” said Capt. Dave Powell, dean of the College of Aviation. “We have consistently striven at WMU to produce the industry's best trained and most sought-after graduates. This partnership helps to validate how the aviation industry views the quality of our program and the type of professionals we are producing.”

United Aviate is organized into five distinct steps:

Step 1: Meet minimum eligibility requirements

Be employed or have accepted an offer of employment with one of Aviate’s universities, commercial flight schools or Part 135 operator partners. Interested candidates must have completed at least two semesters of full-time coursework at a partner university, maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, and hold at least a private pilot certificate.

Step 2: Apply and complete an evaluation

This includes an employment record and history review, a panel interview, a technical skill interview, and personality and cultural fit inventory. Once accepted to Aviate, you will have immediate access to travel privileges, personal coaching, the Aviate pilot leadership program, and exclusive site tours.

Step 3: Build toward your ATP/R-ATP Certification

Build flight hours and gain valuable experience teaching as a CFI at one of Aviate’s universities, commercial flight schools or Part 135 operator partners.

Step 4: Fly with a United Express partner

Gain invaluable experience flying with one of our United Express Aviate partners, which include Air Wisconsin, ExpressJet, Mesa Airlines, and CommutAir. Enjoy expedited time in service with Aviate: minimum service requirements of 2,000 flight hours and 24 months with a United Express Aviate partner.

Step 5: Transition to United as a First Officer

Once you complete your minimum transition requirements with United Express, you’ll be eligible to transition to United as a First Officer. When a First Officer position opens with United and you’re at the top of the priority list, you’ll receive a job offer.

“As the program currently stands, this is the fastest route to a major airline and will significantly address the hiring demands being experienced in the airlines,” said Tom Grossman, the executive director of flight operations at WMU, in a statement.

United Airlines, the third largest air carrier in the United States, currently provides service to and from more than 350 airports in 48 different countries around the world. United aims to hire more than 10,000 pilots within the next decade. For more information, please visit https://unitedaviate.com/.

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