HYANNIS, MASS. - The highly-successful University Gateway Program, a four-way collaboration with JetBlue Airways, Cape Air, the University of North Dakota (UND) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), has added another airline. Atlanta-based ExpressJet Airlines, the largest regional airline in the world, will partner with Cape Air to provide a parallel path for aspiring pilots to join JetBlue. The Gateway Program has been designed to facilitate the early-entry of highly-qualified pilots from Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) programs, who have appropriate flight instructor experience, into Cape Air, where they further hone their skills. After gaining their Captain's credentials at Cape Air, pilots can choose to interview with ExpressJet. If accepted, they will be slotted for a training class providing valuable time as pilots in command. They then will be eligible for a final interview with JetBlue after gaining their necessary hours.
"The addition of ExpressJet further enhances this ground-breaking program," said Dave Bushy, Cape Air's President and COO. "With this program, pilots from premier aviation universities in the country have easy access to a highly effective path. We have carefully chosen partners that are evaluated for safety, operations and experience - giving these Captains a solid and outstanding start with a major airline."
"ExpressJet is looking forward to being part of the University Gateway Program, and to providing an additional pathway option for pilots who are part of the program," said Charlie Tutt, vice president of Flight Operations at ExpressJet. "This partnership will provide us with a reliable channel to bring on talented, experienced pilots, while providing them with valuable jet experience."
"This is an exciting day for JetBlue, Cape Air and ExpressJet. With the addition of ExpressJet to the University Gateway Program, we are providing additional opportunities for aspiring pilots from AABI accredited programs to build experience and hone their skills," said Captain Rich Carter, Director, System Chief Pilot at JetBlue. "We've already seen the potential this program has to produce highly-trained, motivated pilots, and look forward to seeing this success continue with ExpressJet's partnership."
There are now 140 pilots in the Gateway Program. To date, four pilots have successfully completed the necessary steps and have been hired by JetBlue, with more qualifying for a final interview every month. Cape Air expects as many as 50 pilots per year will eventually join JetBlue via the program.