Jet Linx has welcomed the first cadet out of its Destination 225° career pathway programme for pilots. Cameron Hise is the first cadet to be hired out of the programme, who joins the company as second-in-command on a Learjet 45XR based at Jet Linx Chicago. The announcement was made by Jamie Walker, president and CEO.
Created in partnership with Southwest Airlines and CAE, Destination 225° provides a defined career path for pilots from initial training through retirement.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cameron to the Jet Linx family and celebrate this milestone together,” says Walker. “Destination 225° was designed to offer a lifecycle solution for pilots that not only facilitates entry into the aviation industry, but provides opportunities for pilots to begin, elevate and extend their careers. We have been working closely with Southwest Airlines and CAE to ensure the successful implementation of the programme, and the first hire represents a significant achievement. We look forward to welcoming even more pilots from the programme in the future.”
Launched in August 2019, Destination 225° provides motivated and capable candidates with a career path that seamlessly bridges all three segments of the industry, from initial training to private aviation (Part 135) and to commercial airlines (Part 121). Functioning as a pipeline between Southwest Airlines and multiple flight partners, the programme offers several career paths for candidates, including the Cadet Pathway for individuals with little to no experience, University Pathway for college students, Military Pathway for men and women exiting service and Employee Pathway for current Southwest employees. Participating organisations offer their most talented pilots the opportunity to move from one organisation to the next, without having to leave the programme.
Hise arrived at Destination 225° via the University Pathway after graduating from Southeastern Oklahoma State University's Aviation Science Institute, one of four schools included in the programme. He was invited to participate in a series of rigorous screening tests at Southwest's headquarters in Dallas, followed by an in-person interview conducted his college campus by a Southwest representative. After being accepted into the University Pathway, Hise began applying for positions with the programme's private aviation partners and was subsequently hired by Jet Linx following numerous interviews.
He says: “The Destination 225° programme has been an encouraging and motivating experience, from the initial application to the actual interview and hiring process. I am extremely grateful to be part of a programme that allows me to start my career with such a distinguished operator while also developing a working relationship with Southwest at a young age. Not only will I be gaining hours while flying at Jet Linx, I will be receiving hands-on, in-depth experience that would not have been available at a typical regional operator. This is a goldmine of an opportunity for young pilots needing quality of hours, not just quantity.”
Chicago base president Brian Goodman adds: “What strikes me about this programme is the consistent high-quality candidates coming through. Destination 225° has so many layers of interviews and hurdles; only the best of the best make it to us.”
An additional component of the programme is an ab-initio training programme that CAE will lead in cooperation with ARGUS International. The process takes a student pilot from the beginning of training, mentors them throughout pilot training and ensures the pilot an airline career upon being rated and certified in a particular type of jet aircraft. CAE will be training and mentoring these pilots throughout the programme. Shortly following the first cadet hire, Jet Linx welcomed a second Destination 225° team member to the company. Pilot Brooke Basinger has joined the Washington DC base as a second-in-command on a Beechjet 400. Basinger represents the first female cadet to come through the programme and the first to arrive at Jet Linx via the CAE Pathway.