WACO - A new partnership between American Airlines and Texas State Technical College aims to put more of the college’s flight training graduates in the cockpit of the company’s planes.
“We like to partner with somebody that we can put our name (with) and be proud of and we want to be part of, and that’s with TSTC,” said Nick Brice, director of pilot recruitment for Envoy.
The college signed a pipeline agreement with Envoy Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group that flies under the American Eagle brand.
Through the arrangement, Envoy personnel will directly mentor and recruit aircraft pilot training students to enter the company’s pipeline instructor program, which could lead to direct hiring opportunities with American Airlines.
TSTC graduates about 20 students from the aircraft pilot training associate’s degree program each year.
The partnership is an effort to address an expected shortage of pilots in the next few years because of retirements — the airline industry projects a shortage of 6,000 to 8,000 pilots by 2018.
Envoy estimates that it could be down 600 pilots in the next few years based on the 20 pilots per month who transition to American Airlines.
The partnership will target students who have graduated and are beginning work as flight instructors at TSTC.