Newsroom – American Airlines Continues Efforts to Diversify the Flight Deck with $1.5 Million Donation to Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

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  • American will provide $750,000 as a resource grant and $250,000 in scholarships to OBAP’s Luke Weathers Flight Academy
  • An additional $250,000 per year over the next two years will be provided for scholarships
  • American Airlines has extended its employment opportunities to 45 various Airmen at 46 OBAPse Annual conference

Photo courtesy of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

American Airlines announced a $1.5 million donation to the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Luke Weathers Flight Academy during the organization’s 46th annual conference, held from 10 to August 12. American was the title sponsor of OBAP 46e annual conference, which included several notable industry speakers, aerospace professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

“Our strength is having a team, especially the pilots, that represents the diverse communities we serve, said US CEO Robert Isom. “We need to expose young people to careers in aviation, ease financial barriers and increase the number of underrepresented minority pilots in the flight deck.”

The contribution will provide grants and scholarships to Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Flight Academy to recruit and train pilots from diverse backgrounds and support the airline’s efforts to help the industry diversify the flight deck.

“The Luke Weathers Flight Academy is a one-of-a-kind training ground where students of all backgrounds, especially aspiring pilots of color, can receive the training, support and mentorship essential to their success in the pilot profession” , said Ret. Luke Weathers Flight Academy captain and co-director Albert Glenn said. “American’s support will only amplify our ability to prepare more Airmen for successful careers.”

The conference also included a careers exhibit hall where qualified pilots spoke with dozens of participating carriers, including American, who offered job offers to 45 diverse Airmen. American was the only major carrier to offer pilot jobs at this year’s conference.

Provide students with access to the aviation industry

American works with community organizations to promote access to aviation. To help introduce young people to a variety of career opportunities, American hosted more than 150 students from across the system at its facilities throughout the summer as part of the Aerospace Career Education (ACE) Academy of the ‘OBAP. The Academy provides hands-on experience in the fundamentals of aerodynamics in a fun and innovative way for middle and high school students.

In July, American flew nearly 100 young aviation enthusiasts on a private charter from Chicago to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the annual EAA AirVenture. Students spent the day trying out flight simulators, learning about different careers in aviation and exploring various aircraft at the world’s greatest air show.

The flight was operated by an all-black crew, including Captain David Ricketts, a member of OBAP and a mentor to many promising pilots.

“I joined OBAP over 25 years ago, at a time when I was finding my calling as a pilot and there weren’t many people who looked like me,” said Captain David Ricketts . “And now I’m grateful to be on the other side where I can use my platform to mentor diverse young people to become successful pilots.”


American announced the Elise Eberwein American Airlines Pilot Scholarship earlier this summer in honor of the executive chef who is dedicated to our team members and creating a workforce that reflects the communities served by the airline. The scholarship commits $1 million over the next 10 years to continue the airline’s extensive efforts to grow and diversify pilot ranks.

The donations are intended to help remove financial barriers, increase the number of professionals, engineers and scientists from underrepresented minorities, and ensure the diversity of the future of aviation by exposing young people to careers in aviation.

Additionally, the American Airlines Cadet Academy, established in 2018, helps bridge the gap between a future pilot’s dreams and reality by connecting not only with flight schools, but by connecting future pilots with opportunities. funding and mentorship for the journey ahead. It is the only program of its kind with two financial partnerships dedicated to supporting cadets and improving the accessibility of the profession for future pilots.

About American Airlines Group
To care for people on Life’s Journey®. American Airlines Group Inc. shares trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and logging on Do you with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.

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