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Delta tries to fix the national pilot shortage and accelerate training using private charter company

Delta is teaming with a private charter company to accelerate pilot training and alleviate the national pilot shortage.

The airline announced on Friday that it would allow pilots in its college program to log training hours with Wheels Up, one of the world's largest private aviation companies, to help speed up full-time employment. Most pilots-in-training are required to log a total of 1,500 hours of flight time before they're eligible for hire by major airlines, according to Federal Aviation Administration policies.

In a statement, Delta and Wheels Up said the partnership is intended to provide "another path to full-time employment" and fill demand for skilled pilots, as a current shortage has left many airlines unable to fulfill flight schedules amid an already chaotic summer of travel.

As part of the effort, Wheels Up will work directly with Delta's Propel College Path Program, an initiative launched in 2018 to recruit and train future pilots.

"It's all about getting the job done right and safely for the customer, and this partnership with Wheels Up will set that strong foundation for this next generation of Delta pilots," Captain Ashish Naran, a former corporate pilot, said in a statement.

Delta is among several airlines that have already begun dropping requirements or requested to cut back on training hours to get more pilots in the sky. The carrier announced in January it would no longer require pilots to have a four-year degree, stating many prospective pilots "have gained more than the equivalent of a college education through years of life and leadership experience."

As part of the imitative, Delta and Wheels Up also is offering a program for pilots who are retiring from the airline and seeking new private flying opportunities.

"We believe that working together we can provide meaningful and exciting assignments for pilots at every stage of their careers," Stevens Saint-Rose, chief people officer at Wheels Up, said in a statement. "We collectively want to innovate in how we attract, retain and develop the very best pilots in the industry."

This article originally appeared in Business Insider

Photo: Taylor Rains/Insider

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