Spirit Airlines Lands Milestone Partnership with Liberty University to Expand Pilot Pipeline


Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway adds 10thpartner, launches at top-tier, collegiate pilot training program in Lynchburg, Virginia

The next generation of pilots can now venture from the skies of Virginia to the vast network of Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE). The carrier today announced a new partnership with Liberty University to launch the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program at the university's School of Aeronautics in Lynchburg, Virginia. The collaboration marks a milestone in the airline's efforts to grow its pipeline of professional pilots. Liberty University becomes the 10th partner to join the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program, which offers graduates a fast track to the flight deck and a rewarding career as a Spirit First Officer.

“We put a lot of hard work into developing the Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program and assembling a great group of partners making it incredibly rewarding to reach this key milestone,” said Ryan Rodosta, Senior Director of Flight Operations and System Chief Pilot at Spirit Airlines. “Liberty University offers a premier pilot training program designed to provide graduates with the skills to lead in the aviation field, and Spirit's growth creates opportunities for those graduates to achieve their dreams with us.”

Liberty University students pursuing an aviation degree can apply for the program after finishing their sophomore year and obtaining a recommendation from a faculty member. If successful in Spirit's interview process, they will receive a conditional offer of employment, a Spirit Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and mentorship as they complete their degree and build flight hours. After reaching Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) minimum requirements, program pilots must successfully complete the Spirit-funded and approved Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP) and Jet Transition Course. Graduates who meet all program requirements will join the team as a Spirit First Officer.

“We are delighted to join with Spirit Airlines as the 10th partner in their Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway program,” said Rick Roof, Dean of the School of Aeronautics. “This partnership is a major step in creating exceptional opportunities for our graduates, providing selected Liberty trained aviation professionals with a unique pathway directly to Spirit once they fulfill the necessary training and experience. Spirit will gain access to pilots with exceptional technical skills and the character to be difference-makers in the aerospace industry, while Liberty Aeronautics graduates can become a member of the Spirit team where they will join a recognized leader in quality of life while flying some of the most advanced aircraft in the skies. This is an incredible opportunity for our Champions to fulfill their aviation dreams, and their calling to serve.”

Spirit's Pilots fly some of the newest, most fuel-efficient aircraft in the industry to 90+ destinations across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. More brand-new planes are planned for delivery in 2023, including eight new Airbus A321neo aircraft, creating opportunities for First Officers to quickly upgrade to Captain. Spirit's Pilots recently approved a contract that provides a significant pay increase and other enhanced benefits. Spirit also offers its Pilots industry-leading training and exceptional quality of life.

To learn more about the program and the application process, visit http://www.liberty.edu/spiritwings


Aviation Week Network's Air Transport World (ATW) named Spirit Airlines the Value Airline of the Year as part of the ATW 2023 Airline Industry Achievement Awards. Spirit was also recognized for safety with the FAA's “Aviation Maintenance Technician Diamond Award of Excellence” for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, the airline was recognized as one of LinkedIn's Top Companies in Travel & Hospitality in 2022, which ranks the 25 best workplaces to grow a career in the industry.


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