SkyWest Airlines - Pilot Pathway Case Study - AeroGuard

SkyWest Airlines - Case Study

SkyWest’s Strategic Partnership with AeroGuard Helps Develop its Future Pilots


Actively Enrolled Students


Approximate Years from Zero to 1,500 Hours


As the largest regional airline in the United States, SkyWest Airlines continuously seeks highly trained and professional airline pilots to enter their workforce, especially with the airline industry becoming increasingly competitive in recruiting future pilots.

SkyWest Airlines entered into a strategic partnership with AeroGuard in 2018 to not only ensure a consistent supply of newly trained pilots, but also to ensure that their training adheres to high-quality and professional standards, reducing their own training expenses and timelines.


Through this partnership, enrolled AeroGuard students can join the SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program, where they are provided with a clear and structured path to becoming a professional airline pilot as they complete AeroGuard’s in-house developed curriculum and thrive in an excellent training environment. 

With this program, student pilots training at AeroGuard have the ability to become SkyWest Cadets at the very start of training as they go from zero experience to airline ready at an accelerated rate in the most efficient manner. As SkyWest Cadets, not only does their company seniority start earlier than their future peers, but they also benefit from ongoing mentoring and development during the program, and a tuition reimbursement when they ultimately join SkyWest.

During the Pilot Pathway Program, Cadets earn 7 FAA Ratings and Certificates including CFI, CFII and MEI, in addition to receiving a Guaranteed Interview to work as a Certified Flight Instructor for AeroGuard. Through this guaranteed interview, students are provided a clear path to accumulate the required 1,500 flight hours, as well as build their flight experience and refine their skills.

Once SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program cadets establish their skills, complete their 1,500 Hours, and obtain the requirements to become a professional airline pilot, graduates receive a Guaranteed Interview with SkyWest Airlines to start their careers! Additionally, after 2 years as a SkyWest Captain, graduates are also offered a Guaranteed Pilot Interview with three major airlines: Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines, to continue their careers.

“AeroGuard delivers a high-quality training experience, in a professional environment with supporting management processes, that prepares students to become professional pilots. As a result, AeroGuard trained pilots are among our top recruits.” 

Wade Steel, Chief Commercial Officer, SkyWest 


The Pilot Pathway Program continues to see significant growth and success within its enrollment. AeroGuard plans to enroll more than 400 student pilots each year into the Pilot Pathway Program, with more than 1,000 total students since the program began.

This partnership helps develop a pipeline of highly-trained and capable pilots for SkyWest, and AeroGuard Alumni have reaped the benefits of this program, launching their professional careers with SkyWest Airlines!

Become a Partner Today!