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Mon, Mar 14, 2022

Alaska Airlines Launches Pilot Academy

Facing Shortage of Aviators, Airlines Get Inventive

Alaska Airlines and its regional partner, Horizon Air, have launched an effort to establish a flight school of their own in the Redmond, Oregon area: the Ascend Pilot Academy. 

The new program is launched with Hillsboro Aero Academy as an effort to guarantee a steady pipeline of incoming professional pilots as the looming shortage of ATP-qualified personnel approaches. The academy will register and train up to 250 students per year, with support for cadets ranging from low-interest financial aid, a $25,000 stipend to cover their commercial pilot license, mentorship, and the requisite conditional job offer at Horizon Air that promises a chance to fly with Alaska as their logbook is padded out. The school will only begin to cover the needs of the two carriers, who estimate they require at least 500 pilots a year by 2025. 

"Launching the Ascend Pilot Academy addresses a critical need to build a larger and more diverse talent pipeline and remove historical barriers to entry for aspiring pilots," said Joe Sprague, Horizon Air president. "Our goal is to create a program that enables students to complete an intensive training and time-building program, with a clear and established path toward flying for Horizon as a first officer."

Interested candidates can apply through the Alaska air site, with applications accepted for no-time and low-time pilots. 

FMI: www.alaskaair.com

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