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United Airlines

United Airlines AVIATE Program

The Aviate Program is United Airlines' pilot training program offering aspiring flight students a defined career path to United as a First Officer United Airlines Pilot.

As an Aviate university partner, current and former CAU students and instructors are eligible to apply to Aviate.

When CAU applicants are accepted into the flight training program at Aviate, they'll continue building hours toward their R-ATP certificate. Then, they'll have the opportunity to fly for an Aviate United Express partner or Part 135 partner, before ultimately transitioning to United.

They'll also gain access to travel privileges to United destinations around the world and invaluable coaching and mentorship opportunities from United pilots that can help create a seamless transition to the airline.

Participants must hold their private pilot certificate, first or second-class medical certificate, have completed two semesters of full-time coursework at CAU, be in good standing with the University, and have no more than three primary training failures.

Potential United Airlines Pilot Career Pathway

Program Highlights

Most direct path to a United Airlines Career

Aviate doesn't just provide a path; it offers the swiftest route for aspiring pilots to join United as First Officers.

This program streamlines career progression, cutting through the complexities of the aviation industry, and enabling participants to achieve their goals with remarkable efficiency.

Travel privileges

One of the most alluring benefits of the Aviate program is the access to travel privileges. Aviate participants don't merely learn to fly; they unlock the world.

These privileges extend to United's extensive global network, allowing participants to explore new horizons, cultures, and experiences.

This isn't just about travel; it's about forging a deeper connection with the world and maintaining precious ties with loved ones, no matter where they are.


Aviate doesn't just prepare pilots; it nurtures them.

The program offers not just instruction but invaluable coaching and mentorship opportunities led by experienced United pilots.

These mentors are more than teachers; they're guides who help participants enhance their skills, deepen their knowledge, and boost their confidence.

With this guidance, Aviate ensures that aspiring pilots don't just enter the airline; they thrive within it, embarking on a journey towards a successful aviation career.

Fly in the First Term - CAU

Access to United networking

Being part of Aviate is not just about flying; it's about being part of a community.

Aviate participants gain exclusive access to a vast network of United team members.

This network is a treasure trove of connections, insights, and shared experiences. It's not just about building professional relationships; it's about forging lifelong bonds within the aviation industry.

The power of this network is instrumental in navigating the complex world of aviation and opens doors to a wealth of opportunities and knowledge.

The Aviate program is not just a career path; it's a holistic and transformative experience. It's about offering the most direct route to becoming a United pilot, enabling travel to far-flung destinations, providing coaching that goes beyond the technicalities of flying, and fostering a supportive network that lasts a lifetime. Aviate stands as a testament to United Airlines' commitment to nurturing the next generation of aviation professionals and ensuring their success in the dynamic world of aviation.

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Pathway Options

Once Aviate participants have logged the required 1,000 hours towards their R-ATP, they have two available routes to build the required 1,200 PIC (pilot in command) flight hours before reaching United as a First Officer:

Fly for United Express carriers:

Aviate participants can choose to fly for CommuteAir, one of United's regional partners. This pathway offers exposure to the regional airline environment, allowing pilots to operate smaller aircraft and connect passengers to United's extensive network.

GoJet Airlines
Another option is joining GoJet Airlines, a regional carrier that collaborates with United Express. Aviate participants at GoJet gain valuable experience while contributing to the efficiency of United's regional operations.

Mesa Airlines
Aviate participants can also opt to fly for Mesa Airlines, which operates as a United Express partner. Serving various destinations, Mesa Airlines provides a diverse range of flying experiences and helps pilots build their hours and skills.

Fly for Part 135 operators

For those seeking a different path, Ameriflight offers an opportunity to fly for a Part 135 operator. This option includes transporting cargo, medical supplies, and other essential goods. Pilots at Ameriflight play a crucial role in the logistics industry while accumulating valuable flight hours.

JSX provides Aviate participants with the chance to fly for a Part 135 operator specializing in semi-private air travel. Piloting regional jets, participants can gain experience in a unique segment of the aviation industry.

Tradewind offers an exciting option for Aviate participants interested in charter and scheduled service flying. Operating in the Caribbean and the Northeastern United States, Tradewind provides a dynamic environment for pilots to expand their skills.

Wiggins Airways
Aviate participants can explore a pathway with Wiggins Airways, where they contribute to air freight operations. This experience allows them to transport cargo efficiently while building their flight hours.
These diverse pathway options not only enable Aviate participants to accumulate the necessary flight hours but also provide exposure to different aspects of the aviation industry. Whether it's regional airline operations, cargo transport, semi-private travel, or air freight, Aviate offers a range of choices to suit the preferences and career goals of an aspiring United Airlines pilot.

Program Benefits

Successful candidates receive a conditional job offer (CJO)
Aviate's rigorous selection and application process often culminates in a coveted conditional job offer (CJO) from United Airlines. This offer represents a significant milestone on the path to becoming a United pilot, providing participants with a clear and tangible indication of their future in the airline.

Aviate offers the most direct pathway to becoming a United pilot
Aviate stands out as the premier route for individuals aspiring to join United Airlines as First Officers. Its efficiency and clarity of progression make it the preferred choice for those eager to realize their dreams of flying for one of the world's leading airlines.

Opportunity to connect and network with United team members
Aviate participants have the unique privilege of building connections within the United Airlines community. Networking with current United employees, including pilots, opens doors to a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and mentorship opportunities. This support network is invaluable in navigating the aviation industry.

Receive coaching from a United pilot
Aviate doesn't just prepare participants for a job in flight school; it equips them with the guidance and mentorship of seasoned United pilots. These mentors share their insights, expertise, and wisdom, nurturing Aviate participants' growth into skilled and confident aviators.

Enjoy access to travel privileges
One of the most enticing benefits of the Aviate program is the access to travel privileges. Participants not only embark on a journey toward their aviation career but also enjoy the perks of exploring United Airlines' global destinations. These privileges extend not only to the Aviate participants themselves but can often be shared with family and friends, fostering a deep love for aviation and a broader worldview.

In summary, Aviate goes beyond offering a straightforward career pathway to a United Airlines pilot; it provides candidates with a comprehensive support system. From the promise of a conditional job offer to unparalleled networking opportunities, mentorship from United pilots, and the freedom to travel the world, Aviate is designed to empower aspiring pilots to reach their full potential in the aviation industry.

About United Airlines Aviate Program

United Airlines, Inc. is a major American airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. With the most comprehensive route network among North American carriers, United has optimal hub locations, including hubs in the four largest cities in the U.S., and employs approximately 700,000 aviation professionals. United Airlines is looking for outstanding leaders who want to join the very best team of pilots in the aviation industry.

The United Airlines Aviate program stands as a beacon of opportunity and excellence in the aviation industry. This program represents a remarkable career pathway for aspiring pilots, offering qualified pilots a direct route to becoming a United First Officer. The partnership with esteemed institutions like California Aeronautical University further solidifies the united Aviate program's commitment to nurturing the next generation of aviation professionals.

Aviate's allure lies in its comprehensive benefits, from a conditional job offer upon acceptance to travel privileges that open the door to global exploration. The program's emphasis on coaching and mentorship from experienced United pilots ensures that participants are not just trained but truly prepared for the demands of commercial aviation.

Moreover, Aviate's flexibility in providing two distinct pathways to accumulate flight hours demonstrates its commitment to catering to a diverse range of career goals and preferences. Whether flying for United Express carriers or Part 135 operators, Aviate participants gain valuable flight experience and expertise.

As United Airlines plans to hire over 10,000 pilots this decade, the Aviate program plays a pivotal role in securing a robust pilot workforce for the airline's long-term success. This partnership underscores the importance of strong collaborations between educational institutions, aviation training campuses, federal aviation administration and airlines in shaping the future of aviation.

In essence, the United Airlines Aviate program is not merely a career path; it's a transformative journey that empowers individuals to fulfill their dreams of becoming aviation professionals. It exemplifies United Airlines' commitment to excellence and innovation while contributing significantly to the health and vitality of the aviation industry. For those with aspirations of taking to the skies and joining one of the world's leading airlines, the united Aviate program stands as a remarkable and promising gateway to a fulfilling career in aviation.

California Aeronautical University and United Airlines

In light of the successful completion of the newly formed partnership between California Aeronautical University (CAU) and United Airlines, a significant and promising chapter unfolds for aspiring pilots. This collaboration not only signifies a milestone for CAU but also heralds a transformative opportunity for its graduates. Through this alliance, CAU students and instructors have gained access to the prestigious Aviate program, charting a direct course to the United flight deck.

The Aviate program's inclusion as part of CAU's airline partnerships serves as a testament to the university's commitment to excellence in aviation education. CAU's graduates are poised to thrive in their pilot careers, thanks to the comprehensive flight training and preparation they receive.

The benefits of this partnership are manifold. CAU alumni who join Aviate are not only on a swift trajectory to becoming United First Officers but also enjoy coveted travel privileges to United's global destinations.
Furthermore, they have the privilege of receiving invaluable coaching and mentorship from United's experienced pilots, helping to ensure a seamless first transition to united and into the airline industry.

The rapid integration of CAU graduates into United Airlines, within four months of meeting flight-hour requirements, underscores the effectiveness of this collaboration. United's forward-thinking approach in creating Aviate as a pipeline for future pilots aligns perfectly with CAU's mission to produce highly skilled aviation professionals.

In an era where airlines seek innovative solutions to secure their pilot workforce for the future, United's Aviate program for private pilot training and CAU's role as a partner university demonstrate a commitment to the sustainability of the aviation industry. With United Airlines' ambitious plan to hire over 10,000 pilots this decade, CAU graduates are well-positioned to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of commercial aviation.

As CAU expands its network of airline partnerships, United Airlines now stands as the university's second major airline partner. These strong and growing relationships are not only vital to the success of CAU graduates entering the aviation field but also contribute significantly to the overall health and vibrancy of the commercial aviation industry.

Updated January 2024

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