On March 21, Delta Air Lines announced the launch of a new career pathway option via Propel Fight Academy, aimed at training and hiring more pilots as the airline industry works to rebound from the pandemic.
The initiative is in partnership with Skyborne Airline Academy, a pilot training provider. This is the fourth pathway launched under Propel.
The academy will offer a comprehensive pilot training program, including classroom instruction and hands-on experience in Delta’s fleet of aircraft. Delta aims to train and hire over 5,000 new pilots through the Propel program by the end of the decade. The Propel Flight Academy will open in June 2023 in Vero Beach, Florida, and students can receive up to $20K in funding.
The program will offer ratings beginning with PPL; once students earn CFI ratings, they can be hired to teach through Skyborne. Participants who accept CFI roles will receive subsidized training in addition to a salary and benefits, guidance from Delta pilots and staff, and access to job opportunities with the airline upon completion of the training, according to the airline’s news release.
The launch of the Propel Fight Academy comes as the airline industry faces a shortage of pilots, with many pilots retiring or leaving the industry during the pandemic. Delta’s investment in pilot training and recruitment is seen as a critical step towards addressing this shortage and ensuring the airline industry’s future.
Delta has also pledged to improve diversity and inclusion in its pilot ranks through the Propel program, with a goal of increasing the number of underrepresented groups among its pilot hires.