United Airlines flew a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Monday. The airline does not service Oshkosh, and to the nearby commercial airport it serves (Appleton), it flies in regional jets. This special flight, carrying yours truly, members of United’s leadership and team members, and United’s partners in pilot training, the aircraft arrived in Oshkosh at the EAA AirVenture show, where United highlighted its continued commitment to pilot training and working to highlight the various pathways to enter a career in the aviation industry.
United’s hiring plans for pilots
At the end of June, United Airlines placed a blockbuster 270-aircraft order. Split between 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets and 70 Airbus A321neos, these planes are not all about retiring older aircraft, but also about increasing gauge and adding new flying, which means one thing: United Airlines is going to need more pilots.
In April, even before the order was finalized, United Airlines announced plans to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030. Through its Aviate Academy, United wants to train the next generation of pilots that also looks more like the next generation of America. As such, the carrier has committed to training people of color and women. It wants about half of its students at the United Aviate Academy to come from more diverse backgrounds with the help of scholarships and loans.