Qualified aviation students will be offered a defined career path and accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot

Delta Air Lines announced on Tuesday a new partnership between Delta’s Propel Pilot Career Path Program and Inter American University of Puerto Rico’s School of Aeronautics.  

The Delta Propel program will offer qualified Inter American aviation students two paths to becoming a career Delta pilot:  

  • Flying for one of the Delta Connection Carriers 

  • Flying military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves. 

“Delta’s Propel Pilot Career Path Program is excited to launch this partnership with Inter American University and welcome these highly-capable students into the Delta family as future members of our pilot team,” said Delta’s Patrick Burns, V.P. – Flying Operations and System Chief Pilot. “As we continually prepare for the future, Propel is an additional avenue for Delta to proactively identify, select and develop the next generation of Delta pilots.”  

This marks the first Propel Pilot Career Path Program partnership for Delta outside the contiguous United States. Inter American University is accredited through the Aviation Accreditation Board International and is a FAA Part 141 program. 

“We are honored Delta Air Lines selected our aviation school for the elite Delta Propel program. This is a great opportunity for our students to take their aviation careers to the next level”, said Manuel J. Fernós, Esq. President – Inter American University of Puerto Rico.  

Delta Propel was launched in 2018 in partnership with eight universities to identify, select and develop the next generation of pilots. This new partnership marks Delta’s 12th partnership and first new partnership since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented effects on both Delta and the airline industry. This new partnership is affirmation of Delta’s ongoing recovery and that of the airline industry. 

Propel is an integral part of Delta's efforts to actively seek diversity, boldly pursue equity and consciously promote inclusion. As the airline works to diversify the future of flight,  the Propel program mentors these students so that they are best equipped to meet the high standards required to become a Delta Pilot.  Ethnic minorities are some of the most underrepresented groups among Delta's pilot workforce, and the new partnership with Inter American is one of the ways Delta is working to close that gap. Read more about Delta's strategies to remove systemic barriers to flight

“The Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Aeronautics is the only program in the Caribbean to offer bachelor’s degrees in different areas of Airway Sciences,” said Dr. Carlos J. Olivares, Chancellor of the Bayamón campus. “For more than 30 years, the School of Aeronautics has prepared professional pilots with solid background skills to contribute positively to the global aviation community.  Definitively, this partnership with Delta is an example of what we want to achieve with our students.” said Dr. Carlos J. Olivares, Chancellor of the Bayamón campus.” 

The Propel program complements the traditional, existing paths to becoming a Delta pilot - an honor reserved for highly qualified professional pilots. After a rigorous interview and evaluation process, Delta will offer successful candidates a Qualified Job Offer, detailing a defined path and accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot. Selected candidates will also accumulate flight hours by instructing at the university where they trained. Delta will also offer selected candidates one-to-one mentoring with an experienced Delta pilot. 

“Inter American University’s pilots exemplify the core values that define our company,” said Manuel Viana, Propel College Liaison. “At Delta Air Lines, we recognize the perseverance and resilience of these excellent students. We celebrate the contributions that they will make to the Propel Program and to the bright future of our airline.” 

This innovative approach to recruiting and professional development allows Delta to offer support and flexibility for future aviators, as it expects to hire many pilots over the next decade to staff the thousands of flights it operates around the world. Currently the Delta Propel College Career Path Program has accepted hundreds of students with plans to open the next college application window in Fall 2021. 

About the Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Aeronautics 

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus offers a Baccalaureate in Airway Sciences with two mayors of study: Aircraft Systems Management (Professional Pilot) and Aviation Sciences Management, both accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International. Also, it offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Commercial Pilot. The School of Aeronautics is located at Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport, commonly known as Isla Grande Airport. The School of Aeronautics owns a maintenance hangar with a fleet of 10 aircraft.   

About Inter American University  

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is a private non-profit institution with its main campus in San Germán, Puerto Rico and an enrollment of over 40,000. Founded over 100 years ago, the first Baccalaureate graduated in 1927. In 1944, it was accredited by the Middle States Association of College and Secondary Schools, thus becoming the first liberal arts college to receive such accreditation in Puerto Rico and outside the continental United States. This accreditation has remained in force through the years. 

The University offers academic programs in its eleven teaching units, namely: the Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Fajardo, Guayama, Metropolitano, Ponce and San Germán campuses; and its two professional schools, the School of Optometry and the School of Law. 

Propel Pilot Career Path Program in 2021 

The Delta Propel Program has plans to announce additional partnerships in fall of 2021. For more information, visit the Propel website.  

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