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Watch: United Aviate Academy’s first graduation January 25, 2023

Today is a special day. A day we gather to see our first class of student graduates walk the stage, signifying that they’ve met the requirements to take the next steps on their Aviate journey. While we are excited to celebrate our first graduating class, we are proud that we have exceeded our expectations to diversifying the flight deck. Our first group of graduates is made up of with nearly 80% being women or people of color (39% Women; 69% POC). Additionally, 84% of this graduating class came to the Academy with no previous flight experience, meaning they earned their PPL and beyond here at the United Aviate Academy.

When our friends at United set out on this uncharted journey, there was one major initiative they led with that was not common in the aviation industry. And not only was the initiative uncommon but it was unheard of and they took it a step further and put a number to it. A goal of 50% women and people of color. With support of our aviation partners, SOS, OBAP, WAI, PAPA, LPA, NGPA and EAA, nearly 70% of this graduating class identifies as a person of color. This is truly a reflection of the communities that these students will serve, first as a regional airline pilot, and eventually as an United Airlines pilot.

Today we celebrate the first 51! I cannot say enough about how proud I am of our students. I look forward to the day when I step onto your flight and see you as my pilot on a United Airlines flight.

— Dana Donati, CEO United Aviate Academy

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