The flight school will join the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program, a program aimed at fast-tracking pilots to a career at Spirit.
Budget carrier Spirit Airlines is partnering with US Aviation Academy in Denton to train more pilots as the aviation industry faces an ongoing shortage.
The flight school will join the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program, a program aimed at fast-tracking pilots to a career at Spirit. Pilots would need to complete their training at US Aviation Academy with about 500 hours of flight time to apply for the program. After an interview, pilots could receive a conditional employment offer, a Spirit electronic flight bag and mentorship within the airline.
Prospective pilots will work toward completing their hours for an airline transport pilot certificate. At the end of the program, pilots will join the team as a first officer for Spirit.
Spirit is making the move as the airline industry faces a shortage of pilots, which will grow to a shortfall of nearly 80,000 by 2032 worldwide, according to Oliver Wyman. Spirit opened a crew base at DFW in 2012 to attract more pilots from the rich base of aviators in the region, a move that Frontier copied last year with a new crew base at DFW.
Ryan Rodosta, senior director of flight operations and system chief pilot at Spirit Airlines, said that US Aviation Academy was the type of partner the carrier was looking for as it expands its pilot pipeline.
“We’re adding new planes and new destinations, and our continued growth makes this the perfect opportunity to start working toward a career on the flight deck with us,” Rodosta said in a release.
Spirit flies to over 90 destinations across the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. The carrier offers about 33 daily departures from DFW International Airport, home to one of Spirit’s pilot crew bases.
Scott Sykes, chief development officer for US Aviation Academy, said the Denton school is excited to create a career pathway for professional pilots for Spirit.
“Both companies have a history of innovation and a commitment to safety and high-quality training, which makes for a great partnership,” Sykes said in a release.
Along with Spirit, US Aviation Academy also has partnerships with United Aviate, Southwest Destination 225°, JSX Pilot Pathway, Breeze Airways, Avelo Airlines, Envoy Airlines and Republic Airways.