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California Aeronautical University Partners with Delta Air Lines to Provide Graduates Accelerated Path to Airline via Delta Propel Program

California Aeronautical University (CAU) is proud to announce its partnership with Delta Air Lines which provides CAU graduates a direct and accelerated pathway to the Delta Air Lines flight deck.

As Delta’s first partner school on the west coast, eligible graduates can qualify for the Delta Propel Collegiate Career Path program where they can become a Delta pilot in just 42 months or less.

A new program for collegiate aviation students, Delta Propel Collegiate Career Path was developed to aid the company’s pipeline amid the global pilot shortage. Only students and recently graduated flight instructors at partner schools like CAU are eligible to apply for the program.

Upon acceptance and completion of program requirements, Delta will provide participants with a qualified job offer detailing a defined path and an accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot – faster and more seamlessly than ever before.

Plus, Delta will be engaged with participants throughout the duration of the Delta Propel program, including access to regularly scheduled events to strengthen knowledge of the airline industry and develop leadership skills. A personal Delta pilot mentor will also be assigned to each participant to further ease the transition from student pilot to Delta pilot.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with one of the top airlines in the United States,” says Matthew Johnston, CAU President. “Here at CAU, we’re always striving to better prepare our students to reach their career aspirations. This partnership with Delta Air Lines opens up even more opportunities for them to get to a major airline, in a much quicker timeline than other routes. Plus, this partnership provides Delta with qualified candidates for their pilot pipeline. We know it will be mutually beneficial all around.”

Strong and growing relationships between the University and important aviation organizations are critical to the success of CAU graduates entering the field. CAU currently partners with several regional airlines around the country and Delta will be the University’s first major airline partner.

“We are proud to partner with CAU and its wonderful people to help identify and train the next generation of Delta pilots who will help us better connect the world for our customers,” said Patrick Burns, Delta’s V.P. – Flight Operations and System Chief Pilot.

CAU and Delta will celebrate the partnership at a launch event at the University’s Bakersfield campus on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. During the event, Delta representatives will share details of Delta Propel with students and offer networking opportunities during a lunch mixer.


About Delta Air Lines

Delta’s Propel Pilot Career Path program launched in 2018 to identify, select, and develop the next generation of pilots. This industry-leading program complements the traditional, existing paths to becoming a Delta pilot and now has four main areas of focus — College, Company, Community, and the brand-new Propel Flight Academy. This comprehensive approach will help Delta support future aviators as well as current Delta employees who have a passion for aviation and a strong interest in becoming a Delta pilot. The Propel program was the first in the U.S. to offer students their choice of three unique career routes and an accelerated timeline to progress to Delta, in 42 months or less, after flying for one of the Delta Connection carriers; Wheels Up; or flying military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves. For additional information, please visit or follow Propel on Instagram and Facebook.


About California Aeronautical University

California Aeronautical University (CAU) is preparing the next generation of aviation professionals. Serving students from all over the country, the University offers career-focused programs in aviation, aviation business, and aircraft maintenance. With on-airport locations throughout California and in Arizona that provide an ideal learning environment, CAU courses are delivered in a year-round, fast-paced schedule that enables students to enter the pipeline for aviation careers in the shortest amount of time. Through the University’s strong partnerships with airlines, influential aviation organizations, and leaders in the aviation community, CAU graduates become a part of a larger aviation network and reap the benefits of these relationships, including direct access to several airline cadet programs. The University offers access to federal student financial aid, scholarships, and veteran benefits to those who qualify.

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