JetBlue solves instructor shortage with graduate pilots

JetBlue flight crew

US airline JetBlue has come up with a way of beating the shortage of flight instructors. When cadet pilots graduate from training they spend two years as a flight instructor, building up hours towards their Airline Transport Licence.

JetBlue’s training scheme is Gateway Select and the first group of pilots has just completed their primary classroom, technical and flight training. After instructing for two years, they will begin flying as first officers at JetBlue, as early as 2020.

“Following a rigorous selection process and extensive training, we’re proud to see the first cohort complete the training portion of our Gateway Select program,” said Warren Christie, senior vice president of safety, security and air operations, JetBlue.

“This milestone with the first class further proves our competency-based pathway works and provides a new path of entry for those who never saw commercial aviation as a career option.”

JetBlue US airline

JetBlue partners with CAE to deliver Gateway Select’s training curriculum. It costs $125,000, payable in instalments. There are currently four classes in various stages ranging from private pilot training through positions as Flight Instructors.

“Gateway Select was designed to help make pilot careers more accessible to a broader range of candidates,” said Christie. “We remain committed to recruiting a diverse talent pipeline with our seven Gateway Programs by continuing to partner with colleges, technical schools and other organizations that also seek to make the commercial pilot ranks more accessible.”

JetBlue is currently accepting applications for the next round of candidates from US residents to start training later in 2018. Applications and more information on the Gateway Select program are available at