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Aviation Companies Hiring Veterans

By Natalie Rodgers   

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is one of the world’s oldest and largest airlines, with nearly 99 years of operation. Delta is a leader in supporting veteran events and has some of the highest hiring rates for veterans. As reported in 2022, about 11% of Delta’s 80,000 employees served in the military in some capacity. Other supports Delta gives to its veterans include:

Military Skills Translator: Launched in partnership with military.com, the Military Skills Translator allows veterans to input their experience in service and translate those skills into civilian terms. This tool enables veterans to find jobs at Delta that match their expertise.
Veteran Business Resource Group: An inclusive network of veterans, military spouses and military family member employees within the company.
FourBlock Partnership: Partnering with the nonprofit FourBlock, Delta provides transition assistance for military and veteran employees coming to work for the airline.

Southwest Airlines

Founded in 1967, Southwest Airlines is the world’s largest low-cost airline carrier. They are headquartered in Dallas, Texas and are one of the top companies for hiring veterans and spouses. Over 10,200 veterans and at least 1,800 military spouses work for the company. They also offer an array of programs to assist in the transitioning period, including:

Warrior Hire Program: A transitioning program that actively works to hire veterans into their technology department.
Destination 225: Additional training for military aviators to expand their skills in civilian flying.
Military Ambassadors: Veteran employees who serve to provide support for veterans, spouses and their families through shared experience.

American Airlines

Another Texas-based airline, American Airlines, is one of the largest of its kind and performs almost 6,800 daily flights to over 350 destinations. American Airlines currently employs over 7,000 members who are veterans or are serving with the reserves in every capacity, from aviators and tech operations to management positions and customer service representatives. Programs they offer to support their commitment to veterans include:

Veterans Military Employee Business Resource Group: Support programs for veterans, reservists and spouses to connect with other military personnel working at American Airlines.
Partnerships: American Airlines is a proud partner with the Gary Sinise Foundation, Medal of Honor Foundation and the George W. Bush Institute to expand on support for veteran employees and customers at American Airlines.
Flight Support: Discounts on tickets, free bag checks and priority boarding are available for veterans and active-duty service members.

United Airlines

United Airlines is the third largest airline in the country, performing numerous domestic and international flights worldwide. United Airlines is also a top recruiter for veterans and reservists, going the extra mile to ensure they feel included throughout the transition process. Some perks reserved especially for military personnel include:

United4Veterans: A specialty veteran recruiting program at United.
United4Veterans Resource Group: Responsible for recruiting and training veteran employees and implementing the buddy mentorship program.
Benefits: United provides social and professional development opportunities for all its employees along with financial and health benefits.

JetBlue

The youngest airline of those listed, JetBlue was founded in 1998 and operates over 1,000 daily flights to 100 domestic and international destinations. The airline also prioritizes hiring veteran employees and ensures their retention at the company through the following programs:

Vets in Blue Program: Provides training, resources and networking opportunities with other veterans at the company and works to recruit veteran talent through partnerships and events.
Gateway Rotor Transition Program (RTP): A specialized training program for veterans with aviation experience to acquire the skills they need for their job as a JetBlue first officer.

Alaska Airlines

In 1932, Alaska Airlines was founded and has since become the fifth-largest airline in America, with five hubs and over 100 travel destinations from its West Coast headquarters. Along with their sister company, Horizon Airlines, the two companies have long been dedicated to recruiting veteran talent. In 2016, Alaska Airlines reported that 15% of the veterans who applied for work at their company were hired (as opposed to the 12.2% for non-veterans) and that employees with a military background showed a higher promotion rate. Alaska Airlines works to support veteran employees through the following:

Veteran and Military Business Resource Group: Similar to American Airlines’ program, Alaska provides a network of veteran employees within the company to support one another. This program also offers opportunities for career development, apprenticeship, networking and community outreach.
Partnerships: In collaboration with the Honor Flight Network, they provide complimentary and reduced-fare travel for veterans on special tours of Washington, D.C. They also invite members to donate miles to their Hero Miles program, which keeps injured service members connected to their families during treatment.
Honoring Those Who Serve Aircraft: A custom Boeing 737-900ER honoring our military and introduced as part of their Alaska Airlines Salutes program that includes a plethora of employee-led initiatives to honor those who have served.

These airlines are all committed to supporting their veteran and military spouse employees and working with them to develop programs to support those who have served.

Explore more articles for the veteran community here.

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