JetBlue has launched its seventh pilot recruiting pathway, Gateway Select, a programme which the airline says will to open up the profession by removing economic and social barriers.
Applications for Gateway Select can be submitted from 7 March at pilots.jetblue.com. 24 pilots will be accepted for this intake of the programme. Eligible candidates must be legally eligible to work in the United States and be 23 years old by the completion of the approximate four-year programme, among other requirements.
Trainees will receive a contingent job offer at the beginning of the training programme, guaranteeing them a position with JetBlue if they complete all elements of the programme successfully. Trainees will also have an opportunity to earn a competitive salary while working as entry-level flight instructors with CAE. JetBlue has stated that because the traditional model requires pilots to make a significant financial investment over numerous years without the guarantee of a job, Gateway Select has been designed to bring more predictability and a lower overall cost to aspiring pilots. The highly selective programme is designed specifically for candidates without previous aviation training, who demonstrate the most desired qualities in a pilot.
“We have an opportunity to create the best pilot training program in the US while also removing some of the economic and social barriers”
With Gateway Select, JetBlue says it hopes to train and hire high-quality pilots while also making the profession more accessible to a broader range of candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences, stating that the programme will open up the profession by helping make the dream of becoming a pilot a reality to people who would not have had the opportunity.
“Many dream of becoming a pilot but are deterred by financial realities,” said Warren Christie, senior vice president of safety, security, and training, JetBlue. “We have an opportunity to create the best pilot training program in the US while also removing some of the economic and social barriers so that those with the natural aptitude can pursue their dream.”
Applicants will undergo a series of assessments aimed at identifying those who demonstrate the qualities needed to become a high-performing pilot, based on recommended International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) pilot competencies and JetBlue’s own selection criteria.
Through an intensive four-year programme, pilot trainees will complete a series of training phases, with guidance and mentorship from JetBlue. The training will include a stint at the University of Orlando, learning the fundamentals of aviation, before progressing to CAE’s flight academy in Phoenix andJet Blue University. Upon meeting the FAA and Gateway Select requirements, pilots will become a new hire at JetBlue, where they complete the same orientation and six-week instruction that all E190 first officers complete.
Recognizing the need to support further diversity into the pilot profession, JetBlue has stated its intention to recruit applicants from minority colleges and technical schools, and partner with organizations seeking to promote greater inclusion in the pilot community.
“Gateway Select offers an innovative approach to pilot development that pushes beyond the traditional barriers and opens a unique opportunity to pursue a career in the cockpit based on a candidate’s aptitude,” said Captain Karl Minter, chairman, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. “JetBlue has shown a passion for encouraging youth to pursue their dreams of a career in aviation with projects like our ACE Academy. With Gateway Select, JetBlue is also providing an additional path to those careers.”
“We are particularly confident that the program will encourage more women to consider an aviation career.”
“JetBlue has long been a supporter of Women in Aviation and its efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in aviation,” said Women in Aviation President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “JetBlue’s new Gateway Select program is an exciting new way to create meaningful pathways for students to pursue their dream of flying. We are particularly confident that the program will encourage more women to consider an aviation career.”