Delta launches Propel Flight Academy to train next generation of airline pilots

Delta, through its Propel Pilot Career Path Program, is launching a pilot academy dedicated to training the airline’s next generation of aviators. The Delta Propel Flight Academy, operated in partnership with training provider Skyborne Airline Academy, will open its doors to the first class of students in June and is now accepting applications from interested candidates.

“The Propel Flight Academy is the latest chapter in our longstanding commitment to invest in and create new, equitable pathways for qualified talent to enter the pilot profession,” said Patrick Burns, Delta’s V.P. – Flight Operations and System Chief Pilot. “We look forward to watching a new generation of pilots begin their journey at the Propel Flight Academy and eventually join us in the flight deck to help show Delta customers why no one better connects the world.”

The academy is the fourth pathway type created for aspiring pilots by the Propel Pilot Career Path Program since its inception in 2018. To date, nearly 100 participants have completed Propel’s existing Company, College and Community pathway programs and are now flying for Delta, while another 700 pilots are currently enrolled in the program and working toward that same goal.

Student pilots will be eligible to receive up to $20,000 from Delta in financial support. Delta will also cover the cost of interest on student loans from select lenders.

The Propel Pilot Academy will be based in a newly refurbished 12,000-square-foot facility situated within Skyborne’s Vero Beach, Florida, campus.

“At Skyborne, every aspect of our training is designed to prepare students for airline operations in terms of core knowledge and decision making, flight deck procedures and professionalism,” said Lee Woodward, CEO of Skyborne Airline Academy. “Our team is looking forward to taking Delta Propel Flight Academy students through their pilot training journey and into their chosen career with a global airline leader who shares the same values as us in training and customer experience.”

Student pilots will complete private, instrument, commercial and certified flight instructor training, delivered in an airline-focused way. Once students have completed their first certificate or rating at the Propel Flight Academy, they will be eligible to apply to the Propel Pilot Career Path Program. Those who are selected will be required to meet certain performance milestones throughout training.

Once students have successfully completed certified flight instructor training, they will be offered employment with Skyborne as a certified flight instructor. In that role, they will receive full sponsorship from Skyborne for Certified Flight Instructor Instrument and Multi Engine Instructor Rating, as well as a generous salary and private health benefits, until they reach 1,500 hours. Upon completion, employment will begin at one of Delta’s Connection Carriers as a first officer.

For additional information, please visit or follow Propel on Instagram and Facebook.


Skyborne Airline Academy is a modern airline training academy based at Vero Beach, Florida, United States, and Gloucestershire Airport in the United Kingdom. Established by industry experts, Skyborne brings a fresh approach to airline pilot training. 


Delta’s Propel Pilot Career Path program launched in 2018 to identify, select and develop the next generation of pilots. This industry-leading program complements the traditional, existing paths to becoming a Delta pilot and now has four main areas of focus — College, Company, Community, and the brand new Propel Flight Academy. This comprehensive approach will help Delta support future aviators as well as current Delta employees who have a passion for aviation and strong interest in becoming a Delta pilot.

The Propel program was the first in the U.S. to offer students their choice of three unique career routes and an accelerated timeline to progress to Delta, in 42 months or less, after flying for one of the Delta Connection carriers; Wheels Up; or flying military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves.

Image: ©Delta

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