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American Airlines launches cadet academyAmerican Airlines launches cadet academy

American Airlines announced April 24 that it will open a cadet academy aimed at recruiting and training pilots to fly for its regional airlines, with an opportunity to advance to the legacy carrier.

Solid flying skills, aviation education, and flight experience can lead to a career in aviation. iStock photo.

The American Airlines Cadet Academy will provide training through three partner flight schools: American Flyers in Dallas, Texas, and Pompano Beach, Florida; Crew Training International (CTI) in Memphis, Tennessee; and CAE Phoenix Aviation Academy (CAE) in Phoenix, Arizona.

American is not paying for the training outright but will assist candidates in obtaining financing through Discover Student Loans. The approximately three-year program at American Flyers will cost $87,120, which includes training, testing and study materials, and uniforms. The CTI program will cost $72,855, and the CAE program will cost $89,165. Additional funds can be borrowed to cover housing, meals, and transportation, up to an aggregate of $100,000, American said.   

Once selected, candidates will train up to 18 months at one of the flight schools. Every cadet will be paired with an American Airlines pilot mentor to walk them through the program.

At the completion of training, a guaranteed interview will be offered at Envoy, PSA, or Piedmont Airlines. “If hired by one of these regional airlines, you are well on your way to working at American Airlines,” the company said on its website. American has contractual flow-through agreements with each of the three carriers.

Eligible candidates must be able to work in the United States; be 21 years old by the completion of the three-year program; have a high school diploma or GED (college degree preferred); be able to obtain a first class medical and a valid passport; demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English; and pass a background check.

“We are thrilled to introduce this innovative program that we believe can change the airline industry and provide aspiring pilots with a life-changing opportunity,” said Capt. Kimball Stone, vice president of flight at American. “The lack of financing options has restricted the size of the pilot pool, leaving some of the most talented people out of the running. By removing this roadblock from the student experience, we will attract a diverse group of professional aviators to American for years to come.”

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
Topics: Flight School, Pilot Training and Certification, Advanced Training

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