Summer 2022 is going down in history as one of the most chaotic travel seasons. Thousands of flights were delayed and canceled during the summer because of staff shortages. One airline is determined to avoid issues like this in the future with its new pilot training program strategy.

Frontier Airlines aims to tackle the staff shortage issue with a new training program for aspiring pilots. Here’s the gag — there is no flight experience required to be a part of the program. This could be a great opportunity for aspiring pilots, but does it wreak desperation for Frontier? 

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Frontier’s Flight Cadet Program

The Flight Cadet Program is a creative plan to help the airline attract new pilots. There is no previous flying experience required of applicants. 

Brad Lambert, Vice President of Flight Operations for Frontier Airlines, tells NBC News, “We really want to provide an opportunity for aspiring pilots. We also want to be able to control our destiny going forward.”

The $8 million pilot recruitment program plans to end staffing shortages in the future.

Frontier Airlines views the program as a great way to grow. There are currently over 100 aircraft in operation and 230 on order. 

Lambert says, “We will still hire off the street, and we’ll still have other programs in place, but this program at the very least assures that we have the minimum of crews we need going forward.”

So, what is required?

You may not have to have flight experience to apply for the Flight Cadet Program, but there are other requirements. 

35 cadets will be chosen monthly for comprehensive training at an ATP Flight School. Cadets will then complete a two-year training program after being selected. The program will require cadets to spend 15 hours in the sky and to obtain their Airline Transport Pilot License. Cadets must pass all tests and certifications before becoming Frontier pilots. 

They will spend an additional 40 hours in a flight simulator for commercial plans after obtaining their Airline Transport Pilot License. Cadets will then transition from First Officers to Flight Captains. 

What’s the cost?

Becoming a pilot can put you in debt. Flight school costs $90,000 in total, but Frontier plans to offer financial aid and stipends before cadets become full-time pilots with the airline. 

A first-year first officer’s salary is around $100,000. 

Interested? Apply here.

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