Less than a year after the creation of the Destination 225° career pathway program in conjunction with Southwest Airlines, Jet Linx welcomes aboard our first cadet.
To combat the industry-wide pilot shortage, Destination 225° was created to provide motivated and capable candidates with a career path from initial training, to private aviation (Part 135) and to commercial airlines (Part 121), seamlessly bridging all three segments of the industry.
Destination 225° functions as a pipeline between Southwest Airlines, Part 135 operators like Jet Linx, and university or military partners. The program addresses one of the industry’s biggest challenges – a defined career path for pilots from initial training through retirement. Destination 225° represents a career-lifecycle solution for pilots, facilitating entry into the aviation industry and providing opportunities for pilots to elevate and extend their careers while never having to leave the program.
Less than one year after the creation of the program, Jet Linx welcomed Cameron Hise as the very first cadet hired from any of the available pathways. At the end of July, Hise accepted an offer as Second-in-Command on a Learjet 45XR based at Jet Linx Chicago. Hise arrived via the University Pathway after graduating from Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Aviation Science Institute, one of the top aviation institutes in the country and one of four schools selected for inclusion in Destination 225°.
“This opportunity presented itself at the perfect moment,” Hise explained. “I was in the process of arranging interviews for other operators, but I dropped everything when I learned about this program. Not only do I develop a working relationship with Southwest at a young age, I also get to start out with a great operator in Jet Linx. I’ll be receiving hands-on, in-depth experience that would not be available at a typical regional airline.”
Dee Ruleaux, Jet Linx Director of Recruiting and Industry Partnerships, worked behind the scenes to ensure the successful implementation of the program between Jet Linx and other partners involved. She provided support and guidance to Hise throughout the hiring process. Ruleaux expects Hise to be the first of many pilots joining Jet Linx from the program.
“To be accepted into the Destination 225° program is a feat in itself,” Ruleaux explained. “This is not an easy journey for them. It involves rounds of interviews and rigorous skills tests. I think it’s important to underscore the level of quality that the program is bringing to our ranks. For such young aviators, it certainly fills us with hope for the future.”
“Not only will I be gaining hours while flying at Jet Linx, they’re bound to be quality hours,” Hise noted. “I’ll have to speak with the captain, plan for weather, assist with fueling, and interact with passengers on a different level than on a regional carrier. This is a goldmine of an opportunity for young pilots needing quality of hours, not just quantity.”