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Airline Partners

Providing a Direct Pathway to Airlines

Is your career goal to become an airline pilot? California Aeronautical University’s airline partnerships are designed to provide you a direct pathway to the airlines – from zero experience to flight student to pilot.

Through partnerships with Delta Air Lines and several regional airlines that flow directly to other major airlines, California Aeronautical University’s partnerships can create a variety of opportunities for CAU graduates upon completion of their aviation degree programs.

Most partnerships provide a direct pathway into the airline’s cadet program and may offer tuition reimbursement to eligible students. Often, students may even receive conditional job offers before they graduate. Explore CAU’s airline partnerships for information about the airline, company benefits, pathway to the majors, and more.

Strong and growing relationships between the University and important airline partners are critical to the success of CAU graduates entering the field.

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.

Accelerated Pathway to Aviation Careers

California Aeronautical University is preparing the next generation of aviation professionals. With on-airport locations throughout California and in Arizona, CAU courses are delivered in a year-round, fast-paced schedule that enables students to enter the pipeline for aviation careers in a shorter amount of time. 

Flight-Hour Benefit – 1,000 hours

As a Part 141 university, eligible CAU graduates can benefit from a 250-500 flight-hour reduction when seeking their ATP certification and receive a reduction in the minimum age requirement to become a first officer. While candidates typically need 1,500 flight hours and must be at least 23 years old to be eligible for their ATP, CAU graduates can qualify for a restricted ATP (R-ATP) with only 1,000-1,250 flight hours at the age of 21. 

These benefits put CAU graduates in the pipeline for jobs much quicker than other candidates, including positions as first officers at the airlines.

Your Pathway with CAU

Step 1

Apply and be accepted into CAU’s flight training degree program

Start your flight training with CAU’s Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree program. Students can begin accumulating flight hours in their first term of school.

Step 2

Earn Certificates and Ratings

Year 1-2 Certificates and Ratings

Year 1-2

Based on typical flight progression, bachelor’s degree students can earn 4 certificates and ratings within 2 years of school* – while simultaneously taking general education courses for their degree. 

Year 3 Certificates and Ratings

Year 3

During the last year of the bachelor’s degree program, students earn 2 more certificates and rating, CFII and multi-engine, and take upper division courses. 

Step 3

Accumulate hours as CFI

After earning the required certificate/ratings, eligible students can also begin working as a CFI to log additional hours towards their R-ATP. 

Step 4

Regional Airline or Delta Air Lines Interview

Interview with one of CAU’s airline partners to join their cadet program. Eligible students may even receive a conditional job offer before they graduate. 

Step 5

Log Remaining Flight Hours towards R-ATP

Graduates who earn their bachelor’s degree at CAU may be eligible for a 500 flight-hour reduction when seeking their ATP. This means instead of the 1,500 flight-hour requirement to earn an ATP certificate, CAU bachelor’s degree graduates only need 1,000 flight hours to earn an R-ATP certificate. 

Step 6

Graduate in about 3 Years

Along with earning their bachelor’s degree, students graduate with 6 certificates and ratings.

Step 7

Build Experience at Regional Airlines

Once hired, start building experience at the regional airline. Depending on career goals, you may choose to remain at the regional or work towards a major airline.

Some CAU graduates have progressed from regional to major in about three years. Discover Aaron Hepps' journey.

If Delta’s Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path is chosen, eligible graduates can progress to the Delta Air Lines flight deck in about 42 months (skip step 8).

Step 8

Major Airline Interview

After building hours and experience at the regional airline and successfully completing airline-specific requirements, interview with a major airline. Most of CAU’s airline partners are highly sought by the major airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines.

*Each student’s flight progression will vary based upon flight efficiency and employment as a CFI. This flight progression is not guaranteed.

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