University of Alaska and Ravn Air Group announce nation’s first Aviation Degree & Airline Pilot Employment Program

The University of Alaska, Anchorage (“UAA”) and Ravn Air Group (“Ravn”), Alaska’s largest regional airline, today (April 17th, 2019) announced the launch of the country’s first-ever program that allows students to simultaneously complete their aviation degree (by earning final course credits in the air) at the same time they get jobs and are paid to fly as regional airline pilots.

In this innovative new college degree/paid employee job program, local Alaska-based students who are in UAA’s accredited aviation program, and at the point where they are already certified through their college studies and aviation training to fly passengers, can now put those skills into practical use as full-time Ravn second-in-command pilots while earning their final semester of course credits required for graduation.

The innovative program is an unprecedented partnership between a university and airline and is the first and only program in the nation for providing students with paid airline pilot jobs while they complete their undergraduate education.

“We are thrilled to work with the University of Alaska to provide a new pathway that can accelerate careers in Alaska commercial aviation,” said Dave Pflieger, Ravn Air Group President & CEO. “A program like this will not only contribute to great, local jobs for Alaskans, it will provide eligible students with an expedited career path into the rewarding and exciting airline industry. Given the current nationwide and world-wide pilot shortage, it’s a win-win for aspiring commercial pilots and our aviation industry here in Alaska.”

Another key objective of the UAA-Ravn internship program is to train applicants in “industry best practice” safety processes and procedures with the goal of making aviation safer in Alaska. With its own top priority of aviation safety, Ravn not only has an FAA-approved Safety Management System (“SMS”), it is Alaska’s first regional airline to be accredited by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), the global standard for airline safety and operations management.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Ravn on this ground-breaking new program that benefits our students, our local economy, and our State,” said Denise Runge, Dean of the UAA Community and Technical College. “Having the opportunity to get an education in the classroom coupled with practical industry experience with Alaska’s largest regional airline and one of the largest employers here in the State is invaluable.”

Pilots in the new UAA –Ravn paid internship program will be able to move from a classroom and flight school setting to actual commercial pilot flying with the opportunity to fly regularly scheduled flights while being supervised by highly experienced airline pilots, check airmen, and UAA program faculty members.

Those who enroll in the UAA/Ravn pilot training program and get simultaneously hired by Ravn will be added to the Ravn pilot seniority list where they will be eligible for salaries starting of $36,000 per year; $15,000 annual retention bonuses; and Air Transport Pilot (ATP) Certification Training Program (CTP) reimbursement.

For information on the ATA A295 and ATA A495 Aviation / Pilot Internship Programs, please visit: