Delta Announces Pilot Career Path Program for Embry-Riddle Student Pilots

Expecting to hire more than 8,000 pilots in the next decade, Delta Air Lines recently unveiled the Propel Pilot Career Path Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s two residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona. The Delta Propel program will give qualifying student pilots at both campuses, who are interested in careers at Delta Air Lines, a direct pathway from college to a Delta flight deck.

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© Delta
Delta Announces Pilot Career Path Program for Embry-Riddle Student Pilots

We are proud to be a part of this program,” said Embry-Riddle President Dr. P. Barry Butler, who described the Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program as “perfect for Embry-Riddle and perfect for Delta.”

“On behalf of the University, we’re so happy to have our friends from Delta here to kick off a national program to help our students go from aspiring aviator to captain,” said Prescott Campus Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers. 

For both events, it was standing room only for the largest college student pilot training program in the country. Delta representatives, who included Embry-Riddle alumni, explained to students how the partnership with Embry-Riddle’s Florida and Arizona campuses will provide them with a defined, accelerated career path for juniors and seniors, who are accepted into the program and pass testing and qualification requirements.

“You can look at Propel as the first on-ramp to Delta,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, former senior vice president of Flight Operations for Delta. “What this relationship is about is opportunity. Delta is only partnering with the best.”

Dr. Michael E. Wiggins, professor and Aeronautical Science Department chair at the Daytona Beach Campus, told students that the program is a “game-changer” for the industry.

The Propel program includes two Embry-Riddle campuses and six other initial partner universities and will supplement the airline’s current recruiting structure, which includes recruiting and hiring pilots currently flying in the airline, military and corporate sectors.

“This path provides Delta with unique insight from candidates,” said Delta representative Capt. Patrick Burns, managing director of Flying Operations and class of ’88 Prescott Campus alumni. “It’s an opportunity for us to partner with [students] early in their professional career, actually pairing students up with line pilot mentors to guide propel candidates through their career all the way to the Delta flight deck, not just while they’re here at Embry-Riddle.”

Many student pilots stayed after the presentations to talk to Delta representatives, including First Officers and Embry–Riddle alums Kimberly Ewing, Cristoffer Dalmau and Roy Evans, who spoke with students in Daytona Beach and Prescott. They will be college liaisons working with pilots who are accepted into the Propel program.

Students who are accepted have their choice of three unique career routes and an accelerated timeline to progress to Delta, in 42 months or less, after:



“I might be a little biased, having been an Embry-Riddle grad,” said Burns. “Look at the shared background between Delta and [Embry-Riddle]. Our core values of integrity and leadership are shared with this university. Being an alumnus, I’m very aware of that.”

Go online to find out more about the Propel Pilot Career Path Program with Delta.

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