Delta Air Lines launched the Propel Pilot Career Path Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s two residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona to help meet the need for the more than 8,000 new pilots it expects to hire over the next decade. The Delta Propel program will give qualifying student pilots at both campuses who are interested in careers at Delta Air Lines, a pathway from college to a Delta flight deck.

At introduction events at both campuses, Delta representatives, including Embry-Riddle alumni, explained to students how the partnership with Embry-Riddle’s Florida and Arizona campuses will provide a defined, accelerated career path for juniors and seniors who are accepted into the program and pass testing and qualification requirements. The airline says this will be the largest college student pilot training program in the United States.

In addition to the two Embry-Riddle campuses, the Propel program includes six other initial partner universities and will supplement the airline’s current recruiting structure, which includes recruiting and hiring pilots currently flying in the airline, military and corporate sectors.

“This path provides Delta with unique insight from candidates,” said Delta representative Capt. Patrick Burns, managing director of Flying Operations and class of ’88 Prescott Campus alumni. “It’s an opportunity for us to partner with [students] early in their professional career, actually pairing students up with line pilot mentors to guide propel candidates through their career all the way to the Delta flight deck, not just while they’re here at Embry-Riddle.”

Students who are accepted will have an accelerated timeline of 42 months or less to progress to Delta and a choice of three routes to help them accumulate enough flight hours to get their air transport certificate:

  • Flying for one of the Delta Connection Carriers.
  • A job-share flying for Delta Private Jets while serving as a flight instructor for one of Delta’s partner collegiate aviation institutions.
  • Flying military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves.