UPS Announces Training Program – FlightPath

Published: 09-17-2018
The pilot shortage is real. Can UPS solve their lack of cargo pilots with a new training program?

The lack of pilots is getting desperate. According to the FAA, the number of total pilots shrunk by 30% over the last 30 years.

So while demand for flights is at an all-time high, the amount of working pilots is going down. This could cause major problems in the industry, particularly as consumers demand cheaper flights and more amenities.

UPS Tries to Reverse the Trends

This shortage not only affects passenger airlines, but it’s also putting the crunch on cargo flights. And that’s why UPS has announced its new FlightPath program to lure in potential pilots.

About 2,800 pilots currently work for UPS, but even that isn’t enough. Consumers demand a lot from UPS’s shipping business, so UPS is in severe demand of pilots.


The new UPS system is a training program designed to entice new pilots to fly for UPS.

Pilots first complete a year-long internship with UPS, and then they can enter the three-year FlightPath training program. The FlightPath training is run by Ameriflight, a regional carrier in Texas. And UPS itself will also be investing $10 million a piece for new flight simulators.

Once pilots complete the program, they are guaranteed an interview with UPS for a full-time position. Courier Journal did a video interview with one pilot who went through the program, and she also discussed how the program can help more women enter the field.

UPS Past Troubles With Pilots

UPS has had its own problems with pilots. Earlier this year, the Independent Pilots Association complained that the company had been violating contracts and outsourcing flying to third-party pilots.

UPS admitted to hiring outside companies as it tries to cope with increasing demand. They argued that they are working to expand their own fleet, but this measure was needed in “bridging the gap.”

And some airlines are pushing forward on automation for cargo planes.

What Else Can Be Done?

The question remains – What else will solve the pilot shortage? Is the problem with training and a funnel to get more pilots involved?

Should more education be spread about the profession?

Or does it all boil down to salary?

Join the discussion in the Airline Pilot Forums.

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