Envoy Air, MSU Establish Pipeline To American


Envoy Air Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, is collaborating with Metropolitan State University of Denver to offer a direct pathway to employment for qualifying aviation students starting as early as their sophomore year.

“Envoy is proud to work with MSU Denver on our Pilot Pipeline Program, offering students a direct career path to American Airlines, the world’s largest mainline carrier,” said Nicolas Brice, director of pilot recruitment at Envoy Air. “MSU Denver graduates can launch their career with Envoy as instructors, as they gain those final flight hours needed to become an Envoy first officer. Once on board, a new hire is projected to upgrade to captain in only two-and-a-half years, and flow-through to American in just over five years – without having to interview again.”

The agreement addresses future pilot shortages, anticipated to have an increasingly negative impact on the airline industry’s ability to maintain desired flight schedules due to lack of personnel. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) increased the hiring requirements for first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines from a Commercial certificate to an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. Consequently, the number of pilots meeting these higher requirements has declined significantly.

“The program clearly has many advantages, because it will help students build hours as certified flight instructors and provide a clearly defined pathway to airline pilot positions,” said Kevin Kuhlmann, aviation and aerospace science professor and advisor to the program. “Partnerships like this create a mechanism for ongoing feedback from the airline so the University can consistently provide well-trained and capable first officer candidates.”

Unlike other preferred-hiring agreements that focus on students in their senior year, Envoy offers students the opportunity to interview with the airline as early as their sophomore year. The agreement also has a provision that allows pilots to flow from Envoy directly to American Airlines when a position at the major airline becomes available. An estimated 50 percent of American Airlines new pilot hires come from Envoy’s flow-through agreement.

The minimum requirements to begin the interview process include: sophomore status, private pilot certificate and instrument rating. As an added incentive, Envoy offers a $10,000 scholarship upon joining the airline as a first officer and completing a bachelor degree in aviation at a certified pipeline school with minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in aviation courses.