LIFT Academy Enters a Strategic Workforce Development Relationship with Cape Air, Providing an Aviation Career Pathway and Airline Flow Program


This workforce development relationship will provide Cape Air a talented, constant pool of pilots to operate its 400 daily flights

Under a new strategic workforce development relationship, Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy, a flight and aviation maintenance training school in Indianapolis, will send LIFT graduates to Cape Air in a flow program to provide Cape Air a talented pool of aviators to operate its daily passenger flights throughout their four regions in the Midwest, Montana, Caribbean and the Northeast.

This relationship enables LIFT Academy and Cape Air to promote workforce development in aviation and provide greater opportunity for pathways to commercial airline careers. Upon completion of their flight training at LIFT Academy, graduates will transition to a First Officer role at Cape Air until they are qualified to upgrade to Captain status. As Cape Air pilots, they will build invaluable flight experience, prior to flowing to Republic Airways, a commercial regional airline that operates daily passenger flights for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

“With LIFT’s subsidized tuition and direct flow to Cape Air and then to Republic Airways for its pilots, this comprehensive program will allow individuals with the skill and the passion for flight to make their dreams of flying a reality,” said Dana Donati, General Manager and Director of Academic Services at LIFT.

“This relationship will enhance our pilot sourcing initiative, an initiative that has been a significant focus for our company over the past 12 years,” said Cape Air President Linda Markham. “LIFT Academy’s graduates will have an opportunity to benefit from Cape Air’s rigorous training program while working toward ATP flight hour requirements. Additionally, Cape Air will have the opportunity to hire skilled pilots from LIFT, where they are trained with airline readiness through every flight hour leading to their transition to Cape Air.”

The relationship between LIFT Academy and Cape Air builds on existing synergies of the two aviation organizations. Donati is one of a few female aviation academy leaders in the country, and Markham serves as one of a few female presidents in the airline industry. Markham is the board chair for Women in Aviation International (WAI) and served as the first female board chair for the Regional Airline Association (RAA). Donati serves on the FAA’s Women in Aviation Advisor Board, which began in 2019 to provide advice and recommendations to the FAA in supporting women’s involvement in aviation.

In connection with the collaboration, LIFT Academy, through its parent company Lynx Aviation, has made a minority investment in Hyannis Air Service (d/b/a Cape Air) as an opportunity to broaden its workforce development initiatives with a strong strategic partner. LIFT’s mission since inception has been to broaden diversity within the cockpit and maintenance hangars. Traditional barriers to flight training and airline careers include cost and accessibility, and this workforce development relationship aims to remove those barriers for its participants. This strategic relationship creates a defined pathway for career progression, making aviation an attractive opportunity for those who may not have believed it to be possible before.

LIFT Academy opened as a flight training school in 2018 and has quickly become one of the nation’s largest flight academies, adding a maintenance technician apprenticeship program to its offerings in 2019. Its first students transitioned to Republic Airways as First Officers for the airline in May 2021, taking students less than three years from their first flight lesson to flying commercial aircraft. In June 2021, LIFT’s first career pathway student at Cape Air upgraded to Captain.

Now in its 32nd year, Cape Air is one of the largest commuter airlines in the United States, serving 38 cities in the US and the Caribbean. Cape Air, based in Hyannis, Massachusetts, has grown from three flights a day between Provincetown and Boston in 1989 to a fleet of 100 aircraft, with more than 400 flights a day. Cape Air was recognized as “One of the Top Ten Small Airlines in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler.

For those interested in learning more about LIFT’s flight program and the flow opportunity to Cape Air, please contact LIFT Admissions at (317) 471-2200 or emailing


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.