Cadet training program launched by Mesa Airlines, Southern Airways Express

Mesa Airlines, Inc. and Southern Airways Express have launched the Mesa-Southern Pilot Cadet Training Program, a newly-formed partnership providing career progression for Southern Airways pilots and a pipeline to future employment for qualified candidates at Mesa Airlines, the companies said.

The five-year agreement will provide up to USD 15,000 in combined forgivable loans to cadets and allow them to accrue Mesa seniority while flying for Southern.

New hire first officer cadets with fewer than 1,000 flight hours will receive a USD 10,000 loan from Mesa and, upon reaching 1,000 hours and upgrading to captain, a USD 5,000 loan from Southern.

Current Southern First Officers will remain full-time pilots at Southern until they reach 1,800 flight hours, or at least 550 hours as a Captain, whichever is first. Cadets will begin accruing longevity for both pay, vacation and employee travel purposes at Mesa upon enrolling in the program.

Mesa recently announced the expansion of its partnership with United Airlines with the addition of 12 new Embraer 175 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2017. These aircraft will bring Mesa´s E175 fleet count to 60 and the company´s total number of large regional jets to 145. Mesa´s United Express fleet will total 80 aircraft, including 20 CRJ700s and the company´s American Eagle fleet comprises 64 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft.

The delivery of the 12 additional aircraft is scheduled to begin in May 2017 and will create more than 500 new commercial aviation career opportunities.

Phoenix, Arizona-based Mesa Airlines operates as American Eagle from hubs in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth, and as United Express from Washington Dulles and Houston. The carrier currently operates 133 aircraft, with more than 600 daily system departures to 124 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas. The airline will add 17 additional Embraer 175 aircraft to its fleet in 2017. The company has approximately 3,100 employees and plans to hire an additional 1,000 in the next two years.

Founded in 2013, Southern Airways Express operates a fleet of Cessna Caravans and Grand Caravans. The airline serves 22 cities with over 125 peak-day departures from hubs at Baltimore, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Washington-Dulles.