Regional carrier ExpressJet is joining a pilot training programme that will allow new pilots to gain experience at regional airlines before eventually interviewing for jobs at JetBlue.
Atlanta-based ExpressJet, a subsidiary of SkyWest, will become the second regional airline partner in the University Gateway Programme after Cape Air.
Under the programme, student pilots enrolled at the University of North Dakota and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University gain their captain's credentials at Cape Air. After training, they can interview with ExpressJet.
"If accepted, they will be slotted for a training class providing valuable time as pilots in command. They then will be eligible for a final interview with JetBlue after gaining their necessary hours," says Cape Air.
"ExpressJet is looking forward to being part of the University Gateway Programme, and to providing an additional pathway option for pilots who are part of the program," says Charlie Tutt, vice president of flight operations at ExpressJet. "This partnership will provide us with a reliable channel to bring on talented, experienced pilots, while providing them with valuable jet experience."
JetBlue started partnering with Cape Air for the programme in 2008. The two airlines are interline partners.
Today, 140 pilots are enrolled in the programme, and four pilots have completed it so far. Cape Air expects as many as 50 pilots per year could work at JetBlue annually.