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Aviation student careers to take flight through new airline partnership

Elisabeth Weems | May 14, 2018

Aviation student careers to take flight through new airline partnership

Elisabeth Weems | May 14, 2018

The Russ College Department of Aviation has partnered with CommutAir, a United Express® carrier, giving student pilots a direct path to CommutAir first officer positions.

CommutAir will provide select Ohio University student pilots with four or more semesters in aviation up to $22,100 in tuition reimbursement toward a certified flight instructor (CFI) rating, hands-on experience, training resources, pilot mentors and session with pilots and executives. Participants gain a preferred gateway to fly for CommutAir, and eventually United Airlines via CommutAir’s United Career Path Program. Upon successful completion of the program, they’re also guaranteed a first officer training class date with CommutAir.

“OHIO’s Department of Aviation is pleased to enter into this agreement with CommutAir. It will be highly beneficial to our students and the program overall,” said Steve Owens, Russ College aviation business administrator.

Jeff Harris, CommutAir director of training, said there are a few ways that aspiring pilots can gain financial assistance -- but there aren’t many opportunities to learn about an airline before joining one.

“Our partnership gives OHIO students access to financial resources, training, experiences and networking that aren’t currently found elsewhere. This partnership will allow OHIO pilots to learn skills that will benefit them as CommutAir pilots, and enrich their careers.”

Laura Prince, CommutAir human resources managing director, said getting an early start on training students can increase their chances of success in the commercial airline industry.

“Our financial assistance will allow students to train and build the necessary hours to reach the flight deck consistently, without gaps or delays,” Prince said. “We are seeking to spark interest in the aviation industry as early as possible and hope their careers take flight.

For more info. and to apply to the program, see the CommutAir career site or contact the OHIO Department of Aviation.