Airline Transport Professionals A Prospectus for Flight Training Loan Cosigners

Introduction to ATP

ATP has trained professional pilots since 1984—over 30 years. Today ATP’s management consists of pilots who have flown for major airlines including American Airlines, FedEx, and previously TWA. ATP’s program development team includes active major and regional airline pilots who fly for ExpressJet (United Express, Delta Connection), Southwest and Jet Blue.

ATP owns a fleet of 299 aircraft, including 101 multi-engine aircraft, a Citation Jet, and 77 simulators, 4 of which are CRJ-200 Regional Jet simulators. ATP has 42 training centers across the U.S., emphasizing multi-engine, cross-country, crew-concept experience. In addition, ATP’s success over the past 30 years has enabled the company to own–not lease–all of its aircraft and its largest flight training facilities.

When it comes to resources, experience, and stability, ATP is unmatched by any other flight school, college, or academy.

Growing Demand for Professional Pilots

In its 2017 Aerospace Forecast, the FAA cites the Airline Pilot shortage as an ongoing issue for regional airlines. Those knowledgeable about the airline industry recognize that at least three factors are contributing to the current pilot shortage:

Yearly Retirements at Major Airlines
Yearly Retirements at Major Airlines

Boeing Airline Pilot Job Forecast

Trusted by more than 100 aviation regulatory agencies worldwide, the current Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook concludes that the aviation industry will need to supply more than 617,000 commercial airline pilots world wide over the next 20 years. Boeing's Current Market Outlook reports that the global commercial jet fleet is projected to double in size by 2036. To meet demand, Boeing forecasts deliveries of over 41,000 new commercial aircraft in the coming years.

Bombardier Airline & Corporate Pilot Job Forecast

Bombardier, manufacturer of not only the CRJ-series airliners but also the Global Express and other high-end corporate jets, in their most recent Commercial Aircraft Market Forecast, anticipates delivering 15,000 regional airliners by 2034. The Bombardier report states, “Our key market drivers suggest a bright future for commercial aircraft”.

The Bombardier Business Aircraft Forecast (PDF) projects the company will deliver 8000 business aircraft over the next 10 years. Many pilots look to corporate aviation as an alternative to the most common airline career track. With forecasted deliveries so strong and improving economic conditions, corporate aviation will offer many pilot job opportunities over the next two decades. An advantage of gaining commercial pilot certification is that those certificates follow with you to any employer, giving pilots security and flexibility when choosing airline or corporate flying.

Embraer Airline Pilot Job Forecast

Embraer is one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers. It has produced more than 5,000 aircraft and is the market leader for commercial jets with up to 130 seats. Embraer’s Market Outlook for 2017 projects 6,400 new jet deliveries in the 70 to 130-Seat Segment over the next 20 years. Embraer foresees worldwide demand for air transport increasing an average of 4.5% annually through 2036.

Success of ATP Graduates

Traveling around the world, getting to know dozens of different cities, flying a jet at mach .80, and accomplishing a new mission with every flight induces a romance unattainable in other professions.

In order to help our graduates succeed, ATP has formed regional airline hiring alliances that allow us to get our graduates hired faster than those applicants coming to the airlines “off the street” or from other flight schools. Also, by utilizing our Regional Jet simulators (FTDs), ATP pilots are extremely well prepared for both their interviews and initial training at a regional airline.

Starting at the regional airline level, pilots can expect to earn over $40,000, Many of ATP's airline partners are presently upgrading First Officers to Captain in less than 2 years, meaning 3rd year pay can be over $60,000. Keep in mind that the airline pilot workforce is unionized and pay determined by union-negotiated contracts and seniority. With union protections and a strict seniority system, job security at the established regional and major airlines is excellent, with guaranteed career and earnings advancement. Forbes recently reported that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, airline pilots in the U.S. earn, on average, over $128,000, with the top 10% earning in excess of $187,000 ("What Common Dream Jobs Actually Pay," 2013).

Finally, professional pilots have FAA certificates and credentials that allow many other employment options in corporate aviation. For additional information on airline pilot pay and the regional airline industry, see AirlinePilotCentral.com or ATP’s PilotJobs.com.

Airline Sponsored Tuition Reimbursement

Envoy Air

Skywest Airlines

Mesa Airlines

Horizon Air

GoJet Airlines

Trans States Airlines

Compass Airlines

PSA Airlines

Piedmont Airlines

Silver Airways

ExpressJet Airlines

CommutAir

With the pilot shortage upon us, airlines have selected ATP as a preferred training provider and now offer a solution to loan repayment responsibility by providing financial assistance to aspiring commercial pilots through ATP's Tuition Reimbursement Program. In this innovative program, exclusively for Airline Career Pilot Program graduates, participating airlines offer at least $11,000 in tuition reimbursement.

ATP students have access to numerous loan options for full financing of airline career program flight training and this program now allows for a substantial portion of that loan payment to be subsidized by the pilot’s future airline employer.

This uniquely structured program not only promotes the airline pilot career by making it more financially obtainable, but provides the student with a fast track airline career solution from zero experience to airline pilot job in about two years – proven by thousands of ATP graduates now flying for regional and major airlines.

Building Qualifications

As the demand for regional airline pilots grows, so too does the demand for flight instructors. Upon completing ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program, many students build their flight time and experience as a paid flight instructor with ATP prior to their advancement to the airlines.

Graduates of ATP's Airline Career Pilot Program receive guaranteed instructor job placement at ATP’s network of 42 training centers nationwide, earning up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement. This guaranteed position provides graduates with an airline career track from program completion to airline hiring minimums of 1500 hours total flight time. During this time, between 300-500 hours total time, ATP instructors will interview with their airline. If they accept the airline's offer, the airline will begin making a financial contribution towards the instructor's loan payment and the instructor will make a commitment to fly for that airline.

Graduates who do not instruct for ATP are consistently able to find flight instructor jobs with other flight schools. There is tremendous demand for flight instructors graduating from ATP due to their high multi-engine experience. Graduates from other schools can’t even meet multi-engine insurance requirements. As an instructor with ATP, pay is up to $3,500 a month with airline tuition reimbursement, elsewhere pay is usually around $1,800 to $2,000 per month.

Charter Pilot Jobs (Part 135)

ATP graduates don’t need as many hours of experience to fly with an FAA Part 135 Carrier compared to the 1500 hours required by the Regional Airlines. Many Part 135 Carriers will hire a new pilot with as little as 500 hours of experience if they have trained with ATP.

Flight instructing for 15-18 months to meet the new standards that Regional Airlines have to operate under does not fit everyone's timetable, making Part 135 pilot jobs an excellent alternative.

Financial Considerations

As a potential cosigner, there are three important facts you should know about ATP’s payment structure:

  1. ATP receives payments incrementally throughout the program.
  2. ATP quotes a fixed price.
  3. Refunds are issued in 15 days or less.

ATP’s multi-disbursement payment structure allows us to determine a student’s ability to be successful in this career early in the program, prior to spending the entire amount of tuition. Unlike other flight training academies, ATP’s program is structured so that ATP is motivated to quickly discontinue those who are unlikely to excel at ATP’s pace. With a fixed-cost pricing structure, ATP does not benefit from having to provide more and more training at an hourly rate—a common tactic found elsewhere.

Loan Details

Students who apply with cosigners generally receive lower interest rates and can finance a larger portion of tuition costs. Essentially, as a cosigner, you agree to pay the student’s loan payments if he or she for some reason does not. Usually a family member or friend will sponsor a student’s airline pilot career financing. Having a cosigner qualifies the student for the following benefits:

You can gain the maximum benefit of having a cosigner on the loan when the cosigner has a 640+ credit score. Applying with a cosigner reduces risk for the lender, therefore these applicants are eligible for rates as low as 3.12%.

ATP's primary lenders, Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo, offer flexible repayment options after the traditional 6 month post-school grace period has been exhausted. Sallie Mae offers Graduated Repayment, which allows for 12 months of interest-only payments before the loan enters full repayment. Wells Fargo offers up to 24 months of forbearance (no payments required) while flight instructors are building to 1500 hours of total time required to be hired by the Regional Airlines. These repayment plans give ATP's graduates the ability to earn a salary as an airline pilot (and in many cases secure a signing bonus) before making full payments.

Most lenders offer a cosigner release option. After making as few as 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments, the borrower may request that the lender remove the cosigner from the loan entirely as long as the borrower has sufficient credit individually. After achieving a regional airline pilot job, it may be possible to refinance the loan at a lower rate and without a cosigner. Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank will work with ATP Graduates to refinance their loans.

If a student discontinues training with ATP, the refund will be issued directly back to the lender, not the student. This minimizes interest expense and protects the cosigner. A student may choose to discontinue the program at any time, for any reason.

Additional Benefits for the Cosigner

As a friend or relative of an airline employee, you can often take advantage of airline-employee friend/family benefits, including:

Next Steps

Students and their cosigner should apply together on-line at ATPFlightSchool.com/apply.

How to Apply

Conclusion

With the “1500 Hour Rule” in effect, now is the best time for aspiring professional pilots to start their careers. These regulatory changes, supported by pilot unions, have already improved pilot career prospects: pay is increasing and work rules are improving. ATP-trained pilots will be highly sought-after in a job market short of qualified pilots.

Seniority is everything. Pilots who train with ATP gain an advantage meeting hiring minimums, and effectively gain two years’ seniority over their peers who train elsewhere.

Not only is the career outlook bright, but ATP offers the best choice in flight schools. Nowhere else will you find better aircraft, a more cost and time-efficient program, or a team of professionals more dedicated to training the best professional pilot applicants.

Only ATP gives you this level of confidence in your flight training investment.

For Additional Information Please contact:

Kirk Clews Student Finance Coordinator