Republic Airlines relationships with Schools- a Catalyst for Pilot Supply?

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Regional Airline Pilot Shortage

Republic Airlines adds Lewis University to its 23 “feeder” flyer schools

As explained by the above chart, the regional airlines are experiencing a pilot crisis (NOTE: ALPA would debate the validity of that term). In response to a shortage of qualified cockpit crew members, many of these niche airlines, serving secondary and tertiary points, are complaining about the “statutory”/regulatory criteria. Pending legislation would allow for other, less restrictive QUALIFICATIONS (all caps is intentional), but a number of inspired, perhaps not aviation expert, Members of Congress intend to block the proposed amendments.


In this context, Republic Airline should be commended. It is not just complaining. it is proactively establishing alliances with universities, colleges and Part 141 school. The competition for students for higher education is fierce; so, if your institution can advertise that our program is aligned with pilot jobs, it has an advantage.

Republic Airline Signs Pilot Hiring Agreement with Lewis University

Most recently, Republic signed a partnership agreement with Lewis University for pilot development and career progression. “Pilot development opportunities continue to be a primary focus at Republic. We’re thrilled that Lewis University is joining our cadre of flight program partners,” said Tonya Gilbert, Republic Airline Managing Director of Talent Acquisition and Associate Experience. “Our increased engagement and support on campus allows students — and their parents and guardians — to see the future they can have in the airlines, hopefully attracting more students to the college programs and the career.”

The Republic partnership program allows their collegiate aviation flight students at programs to interview with the airline as early as their sophomore year. If the applicant meets Republic’s high hiring criteria, he/she will receive a conditional offer of employment, transitional support to Republic’s commercial training program, and be eligible to receive a signing bonus of as much as $15,000. Republic pilots train to fly the Embraer E170 and E175 aircraft, the most advanced commercial aircraft in our industry.

Lewis is well positioned for this career path; its mascot is THE FLYER. “This partnership formalizes our Republic Airline relationship, which our students already have benefited from in recent years on an informal basis,” said Dr. Ryan Phillips, co-chair of Aviation Transportation Studies at Lewis University. “This agreement serves as a launch pad for many more opportunities for our students in the future.”

This agreement brings the Republic Pilots conference to 23 schools. Such a formidable network should provide a strong flow of pilots in this difficult time.


Here is more about some of the other partners:

This seems to be a viable method to increase the pool of qualified pilots, replicable by other airlines.


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