Pilots move from Cape Air to JetBlue Airways

Gateway University Program welcomes first graduates

Aug 23, 2012, 15:20 ET from Cape Air

HYANNIS, Mass., Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A four way collaboration with JetBlue Airways, Cape Air, the University of North Dakota (UND) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has paid off for two Captains joining JetBlue's flight crew as First Officers. Cape Air Captains Shanti Merriman and Daniel Thurber, both Embry-Riddle graduates, successfully passed the JetBlue interview process and report for duty in a few weeks.

"I congratulate our first Gateway graduates," says Cape Air President Dave Bushy. "With their undergraduate work at Embry Riddle University, flight training experience in both aircraft and simulators and some of the best flying in the world with Cape Air, the largest independent regional airline in the United States, these Gateway graduates are among some of the best trained pilots and experienced in the country. With this program, pilots from Embry Riddle and University of North Dakota – two of the premier aviation universities in the country – have easy access to a highly effective path, with carefully chosen partners that are evaluated for safety, operations and experience, giving these Captains a solid and outstanding start with a major airline."

The Gateway Program, one of the first of its kind in the country, began four years ago as a pipeline for pilots with clearly delineated steps taking young pilots from Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) programs, internships at Cape Air or JetBlue and undergraduate work with experience as flight instructors, followed by hands-on flying experience with Cape Air. The last step in the process is an interview at JetBlue with the ultimate goal of placement in a training slot as a JetBlue First Officer.

Cape Air currently has some 80 other aviators in the JetBlue University Gateway program and expects to accept more into the program as both airlines jointly interview pilots at UND and ERAU in the next two months.