Angelo State Joins Southwest Airlines Pilot Recruitment Program

Angelo State University and Southwest Airlines announced ASU as a university partner in the airline’s Destination 225 Pilot Recruitment Program, which will provide ASU commercial aviation students with a defined pathway to qualify competitively. for career opportunities with Southwest Airlines.

On a compass, 225 is the southwest directional heading, and the Destination 225 program was developed to direct aspiring pilots to Southwest Airlines. ASU is only the sixth university partner to join the program since its inception in 2019.

ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. and Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations Lee Kinnebrew announced the partnership agreement Wednesday, August 3 on the ASU campus.

“We are honored to have Angelo State partner with Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225 program,” said Hawkins. “As a Hispanic-serving institution, we recognize the opportunity that a partnership like this presents for all of our students to become pilots and aviation professionals, but especially minorities and women who are underprivileged. represented in the commercial and military aviation industry.This is another great step in achieving both our vision and our mission at Angelo State to be an innovative leader in initiatives that provide competitive graduates on the arena world.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Angelo State University as a partner in Southwest’s Destination 225 program,” Kinnebrew said. “We continue our work of opening career paths for the next generation of professional pilots, and we look forward to helping students train, gain flight experience and become qualified Southern co-pilot candidates. -West in the years to come.”

Beginning in their second year, ASU students in the Bachelor of Commercial Aviation (BCA) – Flight Operations program will be eligible to apply for Destination 225. If accepted and meet all requirements, upon graduation from ASU , they will enter a career path to Southwest Airlines that includes:

  • Act as ASU Flight Instructors for the year following graduation
  • Upon completion of flight instruction time, eligibility to be hired with one of Southwest Airlines’ partner carriers
  • After gaining flight experience with partner carrier, consideration for pilot positions with Southwest Airlines

Candidate students will also receive ongoing mentorship from a Southwest Airlines pilot during their time at ASU and with the partner carrier.

“Southwest Airlines is honored to have Angelo State University as the new academic partner for our Destination 225 program,” said Juan Suarez, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Southwest Airlines. “We hope this partnership will provide aspiring commercial pilots at this notably Hispanic service institution a defined career path in aviation, as well as the confidence of knowing they are welcome to our Southwest Airlines family.”

ASU launched its Bachelor of Commercial Aviation program in the fall semester of 2021. There are currently 25 students in the first flight operations class, with 50 new students expected to join the program this fall. Pilot training is led by certified flight instructors using a fleet of 12 aircraft and three state-of-the-art simulators provided by Skyline Aviation, which is owned by ASU alumni.

More details about Destination 225 and its training and flight partners are available at For more details on ASU’s commercial aviation program, visit

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