Starting ATP during a pandemic

Hi all,

I’m graduating college in May, and was planning on starting flight school (most likely at ATP) this summer. Under these current circumstances, I’m curious how it is affecting enrollment and the timeline of the airline pilot career program. I’ve been eyeing the IWA location but am open to other locations if it means I can still start everything this summer (June or July).

For the record, I have no flight experience but have a first class medical, and am taking Sporty’s online PPL ground school in the meantime. I appreciate the response(s) in advance!



I suggest you contact ATP as the current situation is very dynamic and I’m not certain they have new start dates at this time? That said once you get started I believe the time line will keep you relatively if not exactly on track.




Chris and Ashley hosted a webinar about this subject earlier today. Visit ATP Flight School’s Facebook page > Videos > Ride Report: Long Term Career Outlook



Hi Sam,

I’ve been thinking about starting ATP for awhile now, and I’m also in the process of applying to the Mesa location. I’m not a total greenhorn to aviation, in that I got a bachelors in software engineering and worked on certification of Boeing 787 software. Pretty cool to work on planes, but doing so from the cubicle life just wasn’t for me. I have started reading up on the books to fill in the gaps on my existing knowledge, and have my appointment to get my first class medical next week. I am still trying to work out the financing piece.

A lot of friends and family are rather skeptical of my decision to get out there and do this right now in the middle of a pandemic/recession, especially with the drop in air travel. ATP is right on the money though on the future demand for air travel, plus being in school gaining a marketable skill is almost always a good strategy to wait out an economic downturn.

So I’m going for it. I picked up some private/instrument textbooks and the FAR/AIM, and am getting started. Maybe we’ll be classmates!


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I like your attitude on this. I just watched a webinar that ATP put on yesterday with aviation hiring expert Kit Darby. In it he talks about how those who train now, in the downturn, will be the first on the wave of hirings and will do well in their careers. The recording of the webinar is on Facebook now, check it out:



I’m starting my program next Monday, so it looks like they are continuing with new start dates (or at least they were when they scheduled me about 3-4 weeks ago. I’m sure there will be some restrictions, but hopefully it won’t delay/push back my time to completion.

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Kit Darby is the man, thanks for posting that Chris.

Though when I told him I was shooting for United, he told me not to fool around and go go for Delta :wink:

Well, nobody is perfect :wink: