Southwest Airlines and Angelo State University Announce Destination 225° Partnership


Southwest is proud to welcome Angelo State University (ASU) to the Southwest Family as a university partner in Destination 225°, the airline's First Officer development and recruitment program. The Hispanic Serving Institution in San Angelo, Texas, is the sixth University partner in the program that provides a pathway for qualified aviators to join Southwest as Pilots.

"We're thrilled to welcome Angelo State University as a partner in Southwest's Destination 225° Program," said Lee Kinnebrew, Southwest's Vice President of Flight Operations. "We continue our work of opening career pathways for the next generation of professional pilots, and we look forward to supporting students as they train, gain flight experience and develop into competitively-qualified Southwest First Officer candidates in the years ahead."

ASU launched its Bachelor of Commercial Aviation program in the fall 2021 semester. Currently, there are 25 students in the first Flight Operations class, with 50 new students expected to join the program this fall. ASU students have access to Skyline Aviation's fleet of 12 aircraft and three flight simulators.

"We are honored for Angelo State to partner with Southwest Airlines' Destination 225° Program," ASU President Ronnie Hawkins, Jr., said. "As a Hispanic Serving Institution, we recognize the opportunity a partnership like this presents for all our students to become Pilots and aviation professionals, but especially minorities and women who are underrepresented in both the commercial and military aviation industry."

Destination 225° University Pathway Candidates build post-graduate flight instructing time within their college's flight program, with the goal of becoming competitively qualified to interview for a First Officer role at one of the program's partner carriers. After building their flying experience at a partner carrier, Southwest Airlines considers Candidates for a First Officer position. Candidates receive ongoing career mentorship from a Southwest Pilot during their university studies and early flying career.

"Southwest Airlines is honored that ASU is the newest academic partner in our Destination 225° program," said Juan Suarez, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Southwest Airlines. "We are hopeful this partnership will provide aspiring commercial pilots at this notably Hispanic Serving Institution a defined career path in aviation, along with the confidence of knowing they are welcome in our Southwest Family."

ASU joins current Destination 225° university partners Arizona State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Texas Southern University, University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Oklahoma. These university partners work with Southwest to train and support collegiate aviators accepted into the Destination 225° University Pathway.

For more information on Destination 225° and other valued flying, academic, and training partners, please visit For more information about ASU's Aviation program, visit

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