Endeavor Air, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, visited Mankato Wednesday in hopes of recruiting future pilots to join their ever-growing fleet.
The Minneapolis-based airline’s main goal is regional transportation east of the Mississippi River with hub operations in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit and New York City. Regional airlines play a crucial role in flight operations as they are responsible for the connection of smaller cities to larger ones. By transporting passengers using smaller jets, airlines can save money and fuel necessary for larger aircraft and longer trips, such as Los Angeles to New York.
Structured around transportation demands, regionals can alleviate the complex logistics behind coordinating flights both domestic and internationally. In addition, new pilots are able to build up hours at a regional before they are able to transfer to a larger airline, such as Endeavor Air to Delta in a matter of a few years.
The recruitment event began with introducing student pilots to a flight crew, many of whom were Minnesota State University, Mankato graduates, and several onsite interviews for those ready to take the next step in their flight career. By speaking with former students about their experiences with Endeavor, many current student aviators applied for the Student To Endeavor Pilot (STEP) to learn more information and stay in touch the company’s ambassadors.
The program, which prepares students for a promising career in the airline industry, assists students by providing more information, answering any questions and when it’s time to conduct onsite interviews such as done at the airport.
STEP aims to help students navigate and find success in the aviation world by providing resources and mentorship for interested pilots. Those who go through the program can anticipate great prospects, such as flight experience and a guaranteed interview with Delta once they have proven themselves as professional pilots.
In addition to introductions and interviews, the Minneapolis-based crew gave an informative presentation titled “A Day in The Life of an Airline Pilot” in Armstrong Hall 101, giving prospective students a taste of what they will be doing once they have built up enough hours to be hired.
From the walkaround and inspection of the aircraft prior to takeoff to landing and briefing of the next crew on board, the team’s display drew many to learn about their new potential workspace at thirty thousand feet.
MNSU is one of 17 schools across the nation to have partnered with the STEP initiative in order to have pilots ready to fly as quickly as possible. A part of the FAA’s 141 program, the University holds the highest certifications for pilot proficiency and numerous connections to employers both commercial and corporate.
Given that one of the biggest challenges in the aviation industry is a massive pilot shortage (which is expected to happen in the next few years), airlines are scrambling to find avid aviators in order to accommodate the increasing demand for air travel.
With a mandatory retirement age of 65, aging pilots are beginning to retire as the need for air travel is only increases across the globe. Given this significant dilemma, airlines are using numerous tactics to recruit fresh workers such as programs like STEP which get students into the cockpit once cleared and certified.
As Minnesota’s only four-year program for professional flight, MNSU’s state of the art fleet and top-notch professionals are prepared to help new students fill this demand. With direct connections to airlines like Sun Country, Delta, United, American and numerous others, it is clear that the future of aviation is in good hands.
Header photo by Andrew Bravo | MSU Reporter.