US Aviation Academy Expands Training Partnership With Southwest Airlines


DENTON— June 12, 2023—US Aviation Academy entered into a new agreement with Southwest Airlines® that includes training potential First Officer candidates for the airline’s Destination 225° Cadet Pathway, which is in addition to the current training it offers for the program’s Employee Pathway. The Destination 225° program provides pathways to becoming a competitively qualified candidate for future Southwest® First Officer positions. On a compass, 225° is the southwest directional heading, and the carrier developed Destination 225° to lead aspiring pilots to Southwest Airlines.

This additional training builds upon a successful partnership started in 2019 when US Aviation Academy began offering training for the Destination 225° Employee Pathway. “US Aviation has greatly enjoyed working with dedicated Destination 225° students these past four years and looks forward to adding the Cadet Pathway to our training offerings. There is huge growth in the aviation industry right now with a need for more professional, career-oriented training,” said Scott Sykes, Chief Development Officer of US Aviation Academy.

“We appreciate US Aviation Academy’s commitment to training future First Officer candidates for Southwest Airlines, and we look forward to this expanded partnership,” said Lee Kinnebrew, Vice President of Flight Operations at Southwest Airlines.

After applying and interviewing for the Destination 225° program, participants selected for the program receive a Southwest Pilot mentor during their years of training, are invited to Southwest’s corporate campus in Dallas for training activities and events, and, ultimately, become competitively qualified to apply for a Southwest Airlines First Officer position. Participants complete comprehensive training and a continuous evaluation process while preparing to be safe and efficient pilots who fly “the Southwest Way.” There is no cost to apply to the program; however, candidates advancing through the selection process are responsible for all costs incurred for their respective training programs.

Interested candidates can apply for acceptance into the Destination 225° pathways that best matches their current or prior experience. US Aviation serves as a training partner for the following Pathways:

Destination 225° Cadet Pathway

The Cadet pathway is an ab initio— “from the beginning”—program that provides passionate, skilled individuals with a multi-year training program in partnership with US Aviation Academy, CAE, and Sky Warrior. The program prepares qualified candidates to apply for positions with program partners, including Advanced Air, iAero Group, Jetlinx, SkyWest, and XOJet, and gain the flying experience necessary to become a competitive First Officer candidate at Southwest Airlines.

Destination 225° Employee Pathway

Southwest is known for its incredible Employees, and, in partnership with CAE and US Aviation Academy, Southwest Employees can also apply for the program and pursue a career as a professional pilot.

For more information on the Destination 225° program, please visit: