United Airlines has launched the United Military Pilot Program, giving full-time, active-duty U.S. military pilots access to conditional job offers as a First Officer with the airline. The program provides a secure landing place for program participants while they complete their service to the nation and work toward meeting all United hiring requirements.
Under the terms of the new program, successful candidates must first take part in an interview and then complete all required flight training and certification prior to joining the airline. An important element of United's program is that candidates don't need to hold an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) at the time of application. Instead, they can obtain their ATP before joining United – providing flexibility for service members, including starting at United when the time is right for them and their families.
"At United we are committed to investing in individuals who have served and are serving our country – whose military skills and background are invaluable to our airline," said Scott Kirby, United CEO. "Launching this program is a win-win: our airline gets direct access to some of the best, most talented aviators in the world, and military pilots – and their families – get the time they need to plan their civilian career while still serving."
Current or former military pilots who already meet United's mainline hiring requirements and are less than six months from availability, or already available, or are flying in the reserve component are encouraged to apply as a First Officer today.
Currently, United has over 16,000 pilots, including over 3,000 who have served or currently serve in the United States Armed Forces. United employs nearly 7,700 military veterans and 1,500 actively serving personnel across various departments and functions, including many serving in leadership and executive positions.
"As a former military pilot, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to transition to a civilian commercial pilot, but through this new program we're providing the necessary tools, resources, and support system to ensure a direct path to the United flight deck," said United Captain Michael Bonner, Managing Director of Aviate and Pilot Strategy and a former U.S. Air Force and Navy pilot. "Whether you are an active-duty pilot or approaching retirement, I encourage you to join the largest widebody fleet in the U.S."
The airline’s growth plan includes adding 50,000 new team members by 2026. Over the last 24 months, United has hired over 4,000 new pilots and expects to hire over 10,000 pilots this decade.