He launched a flight school called United Aviate Academy with the goal of training 5,000 pilots by 2030. Half of whom will be women and people of color.
“I had the pleasure of flying the Boeing 737, the Boeing 777 and now the Boeing 787,” said United Airlines pilot Gabrielle Harding.
Harding said that while growing up in Detroit he had access to programs that sparked an interest in flying, but says many minorities are simply not exposed to aviation.
“The fact that United has decided to reach out and diversify the cabin further is wonderful considering the cities United serves,” Harding said. “They are cosmopolitan and diverse urban cities.”
“It was in my blood, there was never a time when I didn’t think I was going to be a pilot,” said Kevin Mack.
Mack was a regional pilot for Delta Airlines for five years, but changed gears.
“This was the post-9/11 environment where airlines were going bankrupt left and right and they were all downsizing and laying off people,” Mack said.
Mack said this recruiting effort by United comes at another time of transition for the airline industry in which large numbers of pilots are approaching retirement.
That’s why United said it plans to break down barriers and give more aspiring drivers a more direct path to jobs.
Applications are now accepted at the United Aviate Academy website.
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