Wings Magazine

CAE to train over 700 new pilots for Southwest

August 6, 2019  By Wings Staff

CAE launched a cadet pilot training program whereby the Montreal-based company will train more than 700 new professional pilots over the next 10 years for Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225° program. The training will take place at CAE’s aviation academy in Phoenix, Arizona.

“There is a growing need for airline pilots, and this program will set a new standard in initial pilot training and in the transition to a professional pilot career in the United States,” said Nick Leontidis, president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions, CAE Group. “We are committed to ensuring that our industry has the qualified pilots it requires, and this collaboration with Southwest, the largest U.S domestic carrier, is another great example of this commitment.”

Since 2002, CAE has been providing training equipment to Southwest Airlines in Dallas, where it currently operates more than 15 CAE Boeing 737NG full-flight simulators (FFS), including CAE’s 7000XR Series and more than 20 CAE flight training devices including the latest XR Series suite. All devices are equipped with CAE Tropos 6000XR visual system and the latest Boeing 737 MAX FFS is scheduled to be delivered to the Dallas facility by the end of 2019.

As a training partner in the Destination 225° program, CAE will screen, assess and train cadets selected by Southwest Airlines. Starting in January 2020, the selected cadets will begin FAA pilot licensing ground school followed by flight training at CAE. To join Southwest Airlines, the pilots can choose between two pathways to gain the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) requirements.


In the first pathway, pilots can accumulate 1,500 hours as flight instructors at CAE Phoenix. In the second pathway, they have the opportunity to apply for First Officer positions with Destination 225° exclusive launch partners XOJET Aviation and Jet Linx. The business-jet pathway, explains CAE, allows pilots to build their flying experience operating state-of-the-art business jets while enjoying the quality of life, compensation and benefits of being an XOJET Aviation or Jet Linx pilot, including the opportunity to upgrade to Captain.

Both pathways, explains CAE, lead to a transition Transport training program that bridges experience from flight instruction to commercial transport operations. Once completed, pilots with the required experience can apply to Southwest Airlines as First Officer candidates and undergo Southwest’s new-hire pilot training and Boeing 737NG type-rating training at the airline’s facility in Dallas.


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