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JU, American Eagle Airlines sign Pilot Pipeline agreement

Jacksonville University’s Davis Aviation Center announced it is one of the first schools in the nation to team with American Eagle Airlines on a new Pilot Pipeline Program that helps graduates gain experience and flight hours for a career as commercial airline pilots while easing their financial burden.  

Participants can be selected as early as their sophomore year at JU based on various criteria, including their GPA and current courses. Upon graduation, the selected graduates will become American Eagle employees and receive all the privileges and benefits of a full-time employee while serving as a flight instructor in the university’s flight program.

Those who sign a two-year commitment will also receive a $10,000 scholarship, which could be used to pay back student loans. Another benefit for participants is that once they have reached a certain number of flight hours operating commercial aircraft for American Eagle, they will have a guaranteed interview for a first officer position with American Airlines.

Dr. Juan Merkt

“This is a ground-breaking agreement that sets up a strong relationship between our aviation school and American Eagle,” said Dr. Juan Merkt, director of the Davis Aviation Center. “This meets a growing need at both American Eagle and American Airlines for pilots who meet demanding standards, and offers our students another clear path to employment.”

The pipeline program is for students with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, a 3.00 GPA in their major and who are sophomores in college. They must have finished or be enrolled in JU’s Aviation Management and Flight Operations (AVO) degree program and hold at least an instrument rating.

American Eagle is one of the largest regional carriers in the world, serving American Airlines with a fleet of more than 240 jets. The airline operates more than 1,300 daily flights to more than 170 cities throughout the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean.

“American Eagle created the Pipeline Program to ensure we have the quality and qualified pilots we need for future operations,” said Nicholas Alford, American Eagle’s manager of pilot recruitment. “This is an important initiative for our company, and we are pleased to have Jacksonville University on board to help fill our pilot pipeline with the best young flight professionals.”

About the Davis Aviation Center

Jacksonville University’s Davis Aviation Center in the Davis College of Business has been educating and training future professional pilots and aviation executives for more than 25 years. The university’s Aviation Management and Aviation Management & Flight Operations degree programs are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). JU is one of 36 universities in the nation selected by the FAA to educate future air traffic controllers under the Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI). Its students also benefit from a one-of-a-kind partnership with Aerosim Flight Academy, offering airline-oriented flight training. For more information about the program, call (904) 256-7895.