Atp vs aviate

Hello, not sure if this is the right place to ask this questions because it also involves another school, but ill ask it anyway because id love to get answers.

I was going to do the United aviate program because you would assume it would be fast being a more specific airline school. I found out today that starting with 0 hours and going 1yr at their school it still takes about 5 years to get into a united cockpit thru them.

ATP says they are the fastest school but its hard to tell how long after the school or do you have an option to complete everything and go straight to a major airline upon completion of this course.
Does ATP give the option to be a CFI for their school?

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5 years from 0 time to United Mainline was unheard of until recently, and even now that is somewhat rare.
The nice thing about Aviate is once you’re in the program you are in the line to United.

ATP is an Aviate partner flight school and you can apply to the Aviate flow once you meet their requirements. This will also put you in the line to United.

Theoretically going to ATP you might be able to get to United in 4 years

Chris might be able to tell more about pro vs cons.

Chris F

Here’s a link to partner program info

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ATP does give you the OPPORTUNITY to go directly to a Major after graduating and building your time, but it will not be a legacy like United (they currently have Direct Entry programs with Spirit and Frontier). I point out this is an opportunity because they don’t simply hands out these slots, they must be earned by being the best of the best and working harder than you ever have.

ATP is an Aviate partner and one of the conditions of the Aviate program is that you instruct WITH one of their partner schools so they can monitor your progress. So yes you can most definitely instruct for ATP, again, provided you do well.


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Common misconception, since it’s not the norm, but with the Aviate pathway, you can build time however you’d like.

Though there is an advantage to building with someone in their program. Having 750 hours of qualifying the with one of their partners makes you eligible for they Fleet Technical Instructor position where your can work for United as a sim instructor instead of flying for one of their regional airlines.

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You are free to ask whatever you wish here, regardless of the school involved.

Do you mean five years until a mainline United job? If so, that is incredible and is something that was unheard of until just recently. That being said, you can do it just as quickly, if not more so, by going to ATP and flying for one of United’s Aviate regional airlines (which you will also do if you go to Aviate Flight School.

Bottom line here is that I think United made things confusing by naming both their flight school and their pathway program the same name, Aviate. They are two different, yet intertwined programs that lead to the same place.



I appreciate all of the responses, definitely helpful!
I have my first class medical scheduled for tomorrow and just got the FAA Knowledge test package to start studying for that.

So when you say 0 hours to 5 years was unheard of until recently, do you mean the process has gotten slower or faster?



Ridiculously faster! Obviously this is all new to you but we’re in the middle of the biggest pilot shortage in history.

Not that long ago just getting an interview at a Regional was a major accomplishment and the salaries were around $18k. Now they’re at $40k, with $100k+ available in bonuses. In the past a typical path was 3-5yrs as a Regional FO, another 5-7 as a Regional Capt, and then MAYBE, if the stars aligned and had ALOT of references, you maybe got to a Legacy like United. I know many pilots who took over 10yrs (some as long as 20) to get to UA, and many who never got the call.

While there are no guarantees, there literally has never been a better time to get into this industry.


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Wow thats amazing. Yeah, rookie over here was reading the news about airlines requesting 750 hours so they could recruit faster but looks like that was rejected and probably a good thing. Looks like im picking a good time to become a pilot!

Had no idea it would have normally taken that long.