Airline provides opportunity

Dan Robertson of ExpressJet speaks to Henderson aviation students Thursday.

Dan Robertson of ExpressJet speaks to Henderson aviation students Thursday.

© Henderson State UniversityWhen an aviation student completes his or her training and starts searching for employment with an airline, securing a job interview in the industry can be difficult.

But an agreement between Henderson State University and world’s largest regional airline aims to help Henderson aviation graduates clear that hurdle. With a growing need for new professional pilots, ExpressJet Airlines Inc. will guarantee an interview to any Henderson flight training graduate who meets specific qualifications.

The Pilot Pathway Interview Agreement was announced today by Dan Robertson, ExpressJet’s manager of pilot recruiting. The agreement is designed to provide opportunities for future employment at the airline for qualified pilots completing training at Henderson.

“This will be a great boost for you and the airline industry,” Robertson told Henderson aviation students and others present for the announcement. “What we’re going to do is come back and give you a guaranteed interview with ExpressJet.”

Robertson said all airlines are currently experiencing a pilot shortage which will only worsen. “Let me assure you that a pilot shortage is here,” he said. “There’s not a regional airline in America that can fill their new-hire classes, including us. This will benefit you.”

Robertson said ExpressJet will provide assistance for the flight students. “We’ll do anything we can to help you get on with a regional airline, plus help you get on with a major airline,” he said. “That’s our major goal.”

Troy Hogue, chair of Henderson’s aviation department, said he was grateful to Robertson and ExpressJet for what they are offering Henderson students.

“With the agreement, our students now know that one of the variables for career advancement has been addressed – they will have an interview with ExpressJet Airlines if they meet the criteria set forth,” he said.

“Based upon the past performance of Henderson aviation graduates, I have no doubt that the vast majority of our professional pilot students will meet the criteria in the agreement and will see a successful outcome of the interview as well.”

“We think this is a great opportunity,” Robertson said. “It helps the student and it helps the parents of the student to know that their son or daughter has a pathway all the way from high school to a major airline.”

Henderson president Dr. Glen Jones said, “I want to thank ExpressJet for this incredible opportunity and we’re looking forward to a very long partnership.”

ExpressJet’s all-jet fleet of more than 400 aircraft provide an average of 2,200 daily flights and serve 193 airports in the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, and Mexico. ExpressJet partners with American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. The company employs more than 9,000 aviation professionals.

For more information about Henderson’s aviation program, visit www.hsu.edu/aviation.