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New program to streamline pilots to jobs

Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 19:29:41-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- — A program starting in Omaha this month will make the friendly skies easier to navigate.

Destination 225 will help future pilots have a career path to flying for national carrier, Southwest Airlines.

Typically, pilots spend hundreds of hours training, and tens of thousands of dollars, but don't have a guaranteed job.

Now, they'll learn at UNO's Aviation Institution and be able to work at Jet Linx, a private jet management company, for 3-5 years. Then they’ll have the opportunity to work as a pilot for Southwest.

"When they start that initial training, the first hour of training, the first class they might take they can actually enter this pathway and see that future career opportunity without having to figure it out on their own," said Jamie Walker, CEO of Jet Linx.

They hope to meet the demand of a pilot shortage. Boeing estimates 800,000 new pilots will be needed in the next 20 years.

They'll select dozens of students for the initial fall semester and anticipate growing to hundreds in the coming years.