JP Morgan Chase funds $2.4M for Flight Academy

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United Aviate Academy
Photo credit: United / Canva


NATIONWIDE – United Airlines is working with JPMorgan Chase to fund $2.4 million in scholarships to help pay for the license and training costs to become a pilot. The company launched the United Aviate Academy to help alleviate the projected need for 800,000 pilots over the next decade with plans to hire at least 10,000 by 2030.

United’s academy is positioned to enroll 500 new students into the program each month amid a growing need to replace retiring baby boomers. The company is also stepping up efforts to remove barriers to obtaining a pilot’s license for underrepresented groups. The company aims for half of its pilot candidates to be women or people of color. 

United held its official grand opening, in January, of the academy located at Goodyear Airport in Arizona. The $10 million facility is the former site of the Lufthansa Aviation Training Center. It’s training fleet includes at least 20 Cirrus SR-20 aircraft. The program’s first class of trainees, the Alpha class, began training the first week of December 2021. 

Admission to the program requires a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a minimum age of 18.

The total cost to complete the program is $71,250, however, in addition to covering the cost of the private pilot license – $17,750, United is working with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association and the Professional Asian Pilots Association to provide additional funding. 

When participants complete training, they’ll build flight hours at one of Aviate’s partner universities or flight schools, or fly for one of the company’s Part 135 cargo operators. They’re then eligible to begin flying for a regional partner airline

Once minimum service and flight hour requirements are met, candidates can transition to first officer positions at United.

According to Glassdoor, a United Airline pilot earns $204,876 a year.

The Aviate program has already received over 12,000 applications since its opening.

For more information on the Aviate Academy visit


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