United Airlines to hire 10,000 pilots over next decade.
Calling all pilots – United Airlines hopes to hire 10,000 aviators by 2029, as nearly half of the airline’s 12,500 pilots are estimated to retire within that period.
To sweeten the deal, the carrier is considering offering financial incentives like loan forgiveness and loan guarantees, given the sky-high price tag of specialized training.
The Chicago-based carrier announced the new recruitment program, called Aviate, on Oct. 3, touting the plan as the “most direct path to flying for United” at any stage career stage, as well as “the quickest progression from college to the rank of first officer of any major airline program in the industry.”
“With nearly half of our 12,500 pilots retiring in the next decade, combined with a period of strong growth at our airline, United is uniquely positioned to offer pilots the opportunity to get where they want to go in their careers faster than ever,” Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot, said in a news release.
According to Bloomberg, necessary schooling and the minimum 1,500 flight training hours for aspiring aviators can cost as much as $100,000.
“That financial barrier has thinned pilot ranks and forced regional airlines to boost pay and signing bonuses,” per Bloomberg.
To that end, Quigley said that United is looking into financial incentives like loan forgiveness and loan guarantees to help potential candidates make it work.