US-based civil aviation and defence training services provider CAE has signed a ten-year cadet pilot training programme with Southwest Airlines.

As part of Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225° Pilot Career Development programme, more than 700 new professional pilots will be trained at CAE’s aviation academy in Phoenix, Arizona, US.

Southwest Airlines flight operations vice-president Alan Kasher said: “Destination 225° will support Southwest Airlines by developing world-class pilots who are ready to fly ‘The Southwest Way’.

“We’re proud to partner with CAE in this comprehensive pilot development mission designed to make a pathway to becoming a Southwest Pilot an attainable goal for passionate, qualified individuals.”

CAE will screen, assess and train cadets selected by Southwest Airlines from next January. The selected trainees will begin FAA pilot licensing ground school followed by flight training at CAE.

CAE Group Civil Aviation Training Solutions president Nick Leontidis said: “This is another important step in our long-term relationship with Southwest, we look forward to training the next generation of Southwest pilots at our aviation academy in Phoenix.

“There is a growing need for airline pilots, and this programme will set a new standard in initial pilot training and in the transition to a professional pilot career in the United States.”

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The training programme is enabled by enhanced safety and operational reporting measures recommended by Southwest Airlines and its exclusive partners.

Southwest Airlines has also partnered with Jet Linx to provide training for civil aviation, which is again a part of its Destination 225° programme.

Meanwhile, US-based airline charter business iAero Group’s Swift Air has joined Destination 225° as a corporate partner.