Spirit Airlines, Flight School Partnership Targets Pilot Shortage

Texas-based Thrust Flight school sets learners up for the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program after 500 hours of flight time.

Texas-based flight school Thrust Flight is now partnering with Spirit Airlines to help address the pilot shortage. 

According to the flight school, the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program will enable Thrust Flight pilots who have achieved the requirements for an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate to join Spirit as first officers on the Airbus A320.

Pilots in training have the opportunity to apply for the pathway program as soon as they have reached 500 hours of total flight time.

“If successful in Spirit’s interview process, they will receive a conditional offer of employment,” said the school, which is located in the north Dallas suburb of Addison.

The creation of the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway underscores the trust that major airlines place in the training provided by Thrust Flight, Patrick Arnzen, the flight school’s CEO, said in a statement.

“This partnership will create a pathway to abundant career opportunities, enabling our pilots to embark on a journey with a fast-growing commercial airline,” Arnzen said. “Together, we will empower a new generation of aviators to achieve their dreams.”

For Spirit Airlines, the pathway program creates a pool of applicants from which to draw.

“Thrust Flight is a top-tier flight school, and our new partnership is a great addition to the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program that expands Spirit’s pipeline of professional pilots,” said Ryan Rodosta, senior director of flight operations and system chief pilot for Spirit Airlines. “Our continued growth makes this the perfect time to land a career on the flight deck with Spirit, which comes with opportunities to fly new planes, experience new destinations, and enjoy a great quality of life.”

Spirit Airlines flies to more than 90 destinations in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The airline has a crew base at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW).

In addition to Spirit Airlines, the school already has pilot pathway programs in place with Envoy, SkyWest, Avelo, Republic, and Air Wisconsin airlines.

About Thrust Flight

Thrust Flight has been training pilots in multiple locations in North Texas for the past 15 years. The school has a fleet of 30 modern aircraft, ranging from Cessna 172s to Piper SportCruisers and Piper Seminoles.


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