To fill airline maintenance technician (AMT) positions, Alaska Airlines is teaming up with AAR CORP., a provider of aviation maintenance services, to create a pipeline for qualified AMTs for the airline. Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts 739,000 technicians are needed globally, and 192,000 are needed in North America alone. The Flow Through Program is the first of its kind, said Alaska, between an airline and an aviation services provider to focus on education and career training and recruit new workers from diverse backgrounds.
“We are in a unique position to strengthen the talent pipeline through recruitment of groups historically underrepresented in aviation,” said Nathan Engel, interim vice president of Maintenance & Engineering at Alaska Airlines. “AAR has made incredible strides with its focus on recruiting diverse candidates, and this partnership is an example of how we’re working to meet our diversity, equity and inclusion goals to diversify our talent pool.”
Under the program, applicants complete their training and feed into a role at an AAR maintenance facility. If the applicant is in good standing and has completed three years with AAR as an aircraft technician, they qualify to apply to a career opening at Alaska and are guaranteed an interview. Alaska has 14 maintenance-staffed bases across its network.
“The Aviation Maintenance Technician shortage continues to grow as so many are retiring or leaving the business,” said Stan Mayer, general manager at AAR Airframe Maintenance in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “We believe the Alaska Airlines Flow Through Agreement will help to attract new and upcoming technicians, and with our 19-year relationship, it only makes sense to help each other.”