Delta Air Lines and Wheels Up have formed a partnership in which pilots in Delta’s Propel College Path Program can log flight hours with Wheels Up, a private aviation operator, producing another path to full-time employment with Delta.

Wheels Up is the first Part-135 operator and only private aviation partner in the Propel program. Private aviation offers a customer-focused perspective for new aviators to get a wide range of experience beyond the flight deck, interacting with customers at every stage of their journey. Both Delta and Wheels Up pride themselves on exemplary customer service and look for candidates who share this mindset.

“The diverse type of flying operations and attentive customer service skills associated with Wheels Up’s on-demand charter operation will instill a foundation for Propel candidates to have a successful career ahead at Delta,” said Capt. Ashish Naran, a former corporate pilot. “It’s all about getting the job done right and safely for the customer, and this partnership with Wheels Up will set that strong foundation for this next generation of Delta pilots.”

Delta is set to hire and train more than 2,400 pilots in 2022. The Propel Program, which launched in 2018 to identify, select and develop the next generation of pilots, is one of the many pipelines Delta supports in order to achieve that hiring goal. Delta was the first mainline carrier to offer a pathway program and has already seen more than a dozen Propel participants graduate and earn their Delta wings.

Wheels Up, military and Delta Connection carriers are the three current paths available to aspiring pilots aiming to join Delta. Pilots hired in the next year will fill positions across a broad range of mainline fleet types at Delta crew bases in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle.