Auburn University School of Aviation signs career guidance partnership with Southwest Airlines

Article body

The Auburn University School of Aviation announced a partnership Monday to make the university’s acclaimed aviation program the newest university partner to join Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225th pilot recruiting program.

The partnership aligns the growing Auburn School of Aviation with Southwest Airlines, frequently voted among the nation’s most admired and awarded airlines. The Southwest Airlines Destination 225° University Pathway is for individuals interested in earning their undergraduate degree while accumulating time for graduate flight instruction within their university’s flight program, with the goal of competitively qualifying to interview for a first officer position at one of the programs. associated carriers.

The majority of the nearly 700 students at the Auburn School of Aviation are Professional Flight students, making the association a high-quality feeder system for both parties.

“Our School of Aviation is a shining example of excellence at Auburn, and I am delighted to see our program aligned with Southwest Airlines,” said Auburn President Christopher B. Roberts. “We are committed to providing students with experiential learning and opportunities to make an impact in the world after their days on the Plains. Career programs like Southwest’s Destination 225° are a wonderful way for our aviation students to embark on fulfilling and meaningful careers after graduation. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Southwest through Auburn Aviation.”

After developing their flight experience with a partner airline through the program, candidates receive employment consideration for a first officer position with Southwest Airlines. Auburn’s job placement rate for professional flight and flight management students has hovered near 100 percent in recent years.

“This partnership is a win-win and is the latest in a long line of amazing news for the Auburn School of Aviation program,” said Jim Witte, director of the Auburn School of Aviation. “Southwest Airlines has a proven tradition of excellence in the industry, and we are excited to join its Destination 225° route program to fuel the pipeline of the future. Auburn Aviation graduates are making a substantial impact on the industry, and this lineup will help take that to the next level.”

With various program partners, Southwest created the College Pathway as a highly accessible, cost-effective, and innovative route to flying on a major airline for students seeking aviation industry-related degrees. On a compass, 225˚ is the southwest directional heading, and the carrier developed Destination 225° to take aspiring pilots southwest.

“We are delighted to welcome Auburn University as a partner in Southwest’s Destination 225˚ program,” said Lee Kinnebrew, vice president of flight operations for Southwest Airlines. “We continue our work to introduce career paths for the next generation of professional pilots and look forward to supporting students as they train, gain flight experience and become competitively qualified Southwest first officer candidates for years to come.”

Along with an engaging training program, students who participate in the trail receive ongoing career guidance from a Southwest pilot throughout their college studies and early career years as a pilot. His instruction includes a variety of aircraft, from single-engine jets to Boeing 737s.

Auburn joins an accomplished group of Southwest university partners, including Angelo State University, Arizona State University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Oklahoma, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and the University of the South from Texas. More details about Destination 225° and the program’s flight and training partners are available at

The Auburn School of Aviation previously established similar partnerships with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to expedite the transition from the plains to flying airplanes.

About Southwest Airlines Co.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its unique value and hospitality at 121 airports in 11 countries. Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable and low-cost air travel and now carries more nonstop air travelers within the United States than any other Headquartered in Dallas and famous for an employee-first corporate culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of involuntary absences or terminations in its history. By empowering its more than 64,0002People to provide unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline treasures a passionate loyalty among up to 130 million Customers carried annually. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years.3of return for Southwest (NYSE: LUV) shareholders. Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world, including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest also continues to develop tangible steps to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering Customers the opportunity to help the airline offset its carbon emissions. To be part of the solution, visit

1) Most recent US Department of Transportation report of domestic origin passengers boarded
2) Full-time equivalent active employees
3) Annual profitability 1973-2019