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United Airlines Launches Pilot Program with MSU Denver

This agreement represents the first major U.S. airline to establish a direct pathway partnership with university aviation department


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United Airlines announced a new program with Metropolitan State University of Denver to identify talented student pilots and position them to fly for United. While regional carriers have offered students pilot recruitment programs in recent years, this agreement represents the first major U.S. airline to establish a direct pathway partnership with a university aviation department.

"The career path program helps us to operate our fleet efficiently and continue to provide great service to our customers," says Captain Mike McCasky, managing director of flight training for United Airlines. "Additionally, it provides talented students like the ones at MSU Denver with the opportunity to join a global airline that is focused on providing the best experience for our customers while being part of a great team."

The career path program (CPP) will help address the continued need for new pilots and create an additional pipeline for well-trained United pilots. The CPP offers pilots the option to transition from MSU Denver to United after meeting the required service, performance record and accumulated flight hours at a current United Express CPP partner.

MSU Denver has one of the largest undergraduate collegiate aviation programs in the country. In 2011, MSU Denver's Precision Flight Team was awarded the Loening Trophy, the oldest and most prestigious collegiate aviation award given to the most outstanding all-around collegiate aviation program in the country.

MSU Denver student pilots who successfully meet specific program guidelines while at the University will be required to obtain employment at a United Express CPP partner. There, they must meet the service requirements, required performance record and accumulated flight hours before having an opportunity to fly for United. 

"MSU Denver offers one of the largest and most advanced collegiate aviation programs in the country and is well positioned to provide the airline highly qualified pilots that can address future staffing needs," said Kevin Kuhlmann, MSU Denver associate chair of aviation and aerospace science. "Located in United's Denver hub, MSU Denver has many proud alumni pilots who currently fly at United, and now we can continue that trend in a way that provides robust mentoring opportunities for future first office candidates."

United welcomes students to begin applying for consideration into the CPP upon the kick-off of the fall MSU Denver semester in August 2018. The minimum requirements to be considered for the CPP interview process include at least two semesters in the professional flight officer program, commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating, maintain full-time status with 3.0 cumulative GPA in aviation. 

United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,500 flights daily to 338 airports across five continents. 

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ColoradoBiz staff

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