The financial freedom to fly highNew partnership between the Credit Union and Cadet Academy allows access to the flight deck for future pilotsLike many people who dream of becoming a pilot, Bruno Ferreira wanted to fly for American Airlines for a long, long time.

“I can’t imagine flying for any other airline,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.”

But for many would-be pilots like Ferreira, the financial barriers associated with attending flight school can be difficult to maneuver.

A new partnership between the
American Airlines Cadet Academy and American Airlines Federal Credit Union is designed to ease those burdens. Through this groundbreaking partnership, incoming candidates accepted into the Cadet Academy are offered an opportunity to apply for tuition financing through the Credit Union.
Credit Union loans are available in low fixed-rate and variable-rate options and are designed to cover all expenses, including housing and stipend costs.

In addition to tuition financing, the program offers step-by-step, concierge-like service, said Lori Hall, the Credit Union’s Senior Vice President of Member Experience. “Every student has unique needs, so we personalize the service to fit those needs,” she said. “Especially to someone who’s young — 18, 19, 20 years old — the process of applying for a loan can be overwhelming. Our goal is to help them get into the school.”

Nearly 600 cadets have joined the American Airlines Cadet Academy, an innovative flight-training program American launched four years ago. Of those, 60 have graduated and are now professional aviators.

Currently a student at the Cadet Academy, Ferreira is hoping to someday join them. Thanks to this new program, he’s well on his way to making that dream a reality.

“Without this kind of help, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “They make you feel like you’re not alone. They're really with you every step of the way."

— Malcom Mayhew