ATP Flight School has joined with low-cost startup airline Avelo to provide “an innovative solution to pilots looking to accelerate their careers while providing Avelo with a steady flow of qualified applicants during the present pilot shortage.”
Under terms of the Avelo Direct Program, ab initio students begin their training at one of ATP’s 70 locations nationwide. After an estimated seven months of airline-specific focused flight training, graduates will emerge with commercial certificates with multi-engine and instructor ratings. They can then go to work at ATP as instructors, with an eye toward accumulating the requisite 1,500 hours of flight time for the airline transport pilot rating. Avelo Direct Program participants “can advance to a first-officer position with the airline,” according to ATP Flight School.
Andrew Lotter, VP Flight Operations Avelo Airlines, said, “We feel with the high caliber individuals involved in this program that this will be an integral part of our pilot hiring plan.”
ATP’s FAA-approved two-week, jet-transition program at its 14 CFR Part 142 airline training center in Dallas, Texas, makes the Direct Program possible, according to the company. Candidates transition from piston aircraft to jet operations, including training in advanced avionics and automation. Students in the Avelo Direct program complete ATP’s Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP). The regimen includes 10 hours of training in Boeing 737 Level 4/5/6 Flight Training Devices (FTDs) and a Level D Full Flight Simulator. Next comes eight hours logged in Boeing 737 Level 5/6 FTDs, then four more hours in a Level D Full Flight Simulator. ATP’s avionics lab comes next, with four hours’ training in the fundamentals of operating Flight Management Systems (FMSs).
Ashley Pillon, ATP Flight School’s director of airline and corporate partnerships, said, “We are proud to partner with Avelo Airlines and provide select ATP graduates a path for accelerated career advancement directly into the right seat of a Boeing 737.”