Cadet Programs Accepting Private Pilots Licenses

GoodMorning Ladies and Gentlemen,

Currently I am finishing up to get my Private Pilot License. I was informed that some Airlines now are accepting people with just their PPL. If so, who are they and what are the benefits that come with that. I will have to become a CFI or can I just get through my training and gain my hours through other leisure’s.


Cadet programs just get you committed to an airline sooner in the process. The training to be qualified to accept the job stays the same. You still need a private, instrument, commercial multi, 1500 hours and then finally an ATP. It’s up to you how you want to build time but many people instruct which adds in the CFI, CFII and MEI ratings.

There are a few programs you can interview with as little as a private pilot certificate but I don’t recommend it. Opportunities are changing nearly every day in the hiring landscape. It would be a shame to lock yourself down to one airline so early in your career. So much can change between your private and 1500 hours.


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Hannah answered your question well. While all the airlines are scrambling to lock pilots in early, most want you either training or instructing at a partner school (like ATP). The reason is they really don’t want you leisurely taking your time to get there and want some idea of a timeline and also want to monitor your progress.



United is the only airline that I know of that interviews candidates after their PPL through the Aviate program: Become a United Airlines Pilot Through United Aviate / ATP Flight School