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CAE has announced the launch of a cadet pilot training program where the company will train more than 700 new professional pilots over the next 10 years for Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225° program at CAE’s aviation academy in Phoenix, Ariz.
“Destination 225° will support Southwest Airlines by developing world-class pilots who are ready to fly ‘The Southwest Way’,” said Alan Kasher, Southwest Airlines’ vice-president of Flight Operations. “We’re proud to partner with CAE in this comprehensive pilot development mission designed to make a pathway to becoming a Southwest Pilot an attainable goal for passionate, qualified individuals. CAE is an experienced, global leader in pilot training programs, and we look forward to working together for years to come.”
“This is another important step in our long-term relationship with Southwest, we look forward to training the next generation of Southwest pilots at our aviation academy in Phoenix,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s group president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “There is a growing need for airline pilots, and this program will set a new standard in initial pilot training and in the transition to a professional pilot career in the United States. We are committed to ensuring that our industry has the qualified pilots it requires, and this collaboration with Southwest, the largest U.S domestic carrier, is another great example of this commitment.”
Since 2002, CAE has been providing training equipment to Southwest Airlines in Dallas, where it currently operates more than 15 CAE Boeing 737NG full-flight simulators (FFS) including CAE’s 7000XR Series and more than 20 CAE flight training devices including, the latest XR Series suite. All devices are equipped with CAE Tropos 6000XR visual system and the latest Boeing 737 MAX FFS is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019 at Southwest Airlines’ training facility in Dallas.
CAE will screen, assess and train cadets selected by Southwest Airlines. Starting in January 2020, the selected cadets will begin FAA pilot licensing ground school followed by flight training at CAE. To join Southwest Airlines, the pilots can choose between two pathways to gain the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) requirements. In the first pathway, pilots can accumulate 1,500 hours as flight instructors at CAE Phoenix; in the second pathway, they have the opportunity to apply for first officer positions with Destination 225° exclusive launch partners XOJET Aviation and Jet Linx. The business-jet pathway allows pilots to build their flying experience operating state-of-the-art business jets while enjoying the quality of life, compensation and benefits of being an XOJET Aviation or Jet Linx pilot, including the opportunity to upgrade to captain.
CAE, XOJET Aviation and Jet Linx, as well as global business aviation benchmarking organization ARGUS, were selected as exclusive partners for the Destination 225° cadet program because of their cultural alignment with Southwest Airlines, commitment to safety, and dedication to setting a new, enhanced standard for pilot training.
This training program is enabled by enhanced training, safety and operational reporting measures endorsed by Southwest Airlines and its exclusive partners. Both pathways lead to a transition transport training program that bridges experience from flight instruction to commercial transport operations. Once completed, pilots with the required experience can apply to Southwest Airlines as first officer candidates and undergo Southwest’s rigorous new-hire pilot training and Boeing 737NG type-rating training at the airline’s state-of-the-art training facility in Dallas.