Southwest Airlines Partners with Jet Linx & Cae to Develop Future Pilots

Destination 225° Creates Career Path For Pilots

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Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, has entered into a strategic partnership with Jet Linx, the preeminent private jet management and jet card membership company in the United States, and CAE, a global leader in pilot training for civil aviation, to create a unique career pathway for pilots. The new Program, called Destination 225°, provides motivated and capable candidates with a career path from initial training, to private aviation (Part 135) and to commercial airlines (Part 121), seamlessly bridging all three segments of the industry.

Named for the Southwest heading on a compass rose, Destination 225° addresses one of the industry’s biggest challenges; a defined career path for pilots from initial training through retirement. The Program represents a career lifecycle solution for pilots, facilitating entry into the aviation industry and providing opportunities for pilots to elevate and extend their careers. Participating Destination 225° organizations will be able to offer their most talented pilots the opportunity to move from one organization to the next, without having to leave the Program. The Program also includes collegiate aviation institutions, military and other smaller aviation companies as feeders to the program to reach all corners of the industry. 

Said Jamie Walker, President & CEO of Jet Linx, “We are excited to partner with Southwest and CAE to establish this ground-breaking new Program for the industry. It underscores our commitment to providing industry best solutions for our flight team members and for the industry.” Continued Mr. Walker, “Destination 225° will serve as a solution to help attract future pilots to the industry by offering them a single career path from three trusted industry partners. It’s a great step towards helping address the future pilot supply pipeline.” 

The partnership comes at a time when demand for pilots is at an all-time high and will increase exponentially on a global basis over the next 20 years. Boeing Co., has projected that the industry will need to recruit 800,000 new pilots over the next two decades to meet the rising number of flights as well as workplace attrition. This is one of the biggest hiring cycles in history for airline pilots and the rigorous qualification requirements is creating competition for skilled pilots. 

“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 Jet Linx in this comprehensive pilot development mission designed to make a pathway to becoming a Southwest Pilot an attainable goal for passionate, qualified individuals. This is simply the beginning; we look forward to working with Jet Linx for years to come.” 

An additional component of Destination 225° will be an Ab-Initio training program that CAE will lead in cooperation with ARGUS International, Inc., a company specializing in aviation safety risk management. Ab-Initio is a Latin term meaning “from the beginning” and is a process that takes a student pilot from the beginning of training, mentors them throughout pilot training, and ensures the pilot an airline career upon being rated and certified in a particular type of jet aircraft. CAE will be training and mentoring these pilots throughout the Program.

Jet Linx has become the preeminent jet card membership and private jet management company in the United States due to its unique and innovative business model that offers a more personalized approach to guaranteed private jet travel solutions through individual, city-specific, local services that are supported by a national operation and robust technology platform. Jet Linx is also committed to delivering the highest safety standards in the private aviation industry, with extensive safety certifications including IS-BAO Stage 3, ARGUS Platinum and Wyvern Wingman. In June, Jet Linx conducted its third annual Safety Summit, voluntarily grounding its fleet of 115-plus aircraft nationwide to bring together all of its 500-plus employees to focus on the organization’s safety standards.

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