Sybil Philips, the director of the Institute of Aviation, believes that the agreement
“[It] has a positive impact on the Institute of Aviation,” Philips said. “It acknowledges the quality of pilots that emerges from our program. It creates an easier path to the regional airlines for our students. It provides the key opportunity to build flight time and experience for those who wish to continue to the major airlines.”
Republic Airways is sending representatives to Parkland College to meet with aviation students on March 7.
Philips says Republic Airways has hired numerous Parkland aviation graduates over the past twenty years.
“[Republic Airlines has been] happy with our graduates and how well they perform on the job,” Philips said. “We partnered with Republic last July at the Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to hold a press conference with the aviation media to talk about the changes in the Institute of Aviation since transitioning to Parkland College. At that time we talked about the bridge programs; Republic was developing with colleges and universities that offer aviation training. Those conversations laid the groundwork for the agreement we recently signed.”
Republic Airways offers 1,000 daily flights to 105 cities in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean through their fixed fee partnership with brands such as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express. This information comes from the press release about Republic Airways filling Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, February 25.
According to the website of the United States Courts, when a company files Chapter 11 bankruptcy “usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.”
According to the press release for Republic Airways, the chairman, president, and C.E.O of the company, Bryan Bedford, believes that the cause of having to file for bankruptcy was because of the grounding of many of its aircraft due to a lack of pilots.
The company will continue normal operations while under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Republic Airways is not planning to fire any of its 6,000 employees.
Philips says the bankruptcy has not affected the Institute of Aviation’s thoughts on the partnership.
“[We are] pleased to partner with Republic Airways in this agreement,” Philips said. “While there have been ups and downs as the airline industry adjusts to the pilot shortage, I believe that Republic is positioning itself to be a great place to be a pilot in the future.”
Philips says that the Institute of Aviation also partners with several other businesses in the private sector. For example, the Institute works closely with Urbana-based Frasca International, an aviation training equipment manufacturer.
In addition, the institute has a close relationship with another local aviation company, Flightstar.
“We also work closely with Flightstar Corporation in Savoy,” Philips said. “They maintain our airplanes and about half of their pilots are Institute of Aviation graduates. We are working to create agreements with other airlines to help our students find jobs when they graduate.”
Philips believes the agreement with Republic Airways benefits aviation students many ways.
“[Students will now have] access to pilots who are working in the jobs they hope to one day occupy,” Philips said. “It gives our students access to information about trends in the industry and how the hiring process works.”
“What is a typical day in the life of a pilot?” Philips said. “It ties what our students are learning in the classroom today to the job they will have in the future. The agreement guarantees a job interview to those students who qualify.”