MIRAMAR, FLORIDASpirit Airlines today announced its partnership with Jacksonville-based ATP Flight School to train students to become an A320 pilot at Spirit.

Named Spirit Direct Program, the airline's new initiative will expand the carrier’s pipeline of highly skilled, professional pilots to include ATP’s more than 2,000 qualified students and flight instructors. It also provides graduates with the fastest track to a successful career as a Spirit pilot amid the airline’s continued growth.

ATP's Airline Career Pilot Program and Spirit Direct Program will immerse students in a two-year training that develops line-ready, Spirit A320 family pilots. Students begin their journey with a seven-month training toward their multi-engine commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates along with their instrument rating.

As students progress to ATP instructors they continue to build flight experience working to advance to the first officer with Spirit Airlines.

“ATP is well-known for developing top-notch airline pilots, making them the perfect match as we continue to grow and give our Guests more destinations to discover,” said Ryan Rodosta, Senior Director of Flight Operations and System Chief Pilot.

“Spirit has one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the industry, and we fly to world-class destinations across the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean. Our fleet is growing fast and creating tremendous career-progression opportunities.”

"In just seven months, graduates of ATP's Airline Career Pilot Program earn their commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates, then through the Spirit Direct Program can advance straight to Spirit as Airbus first officers after 1,500 hours of flight time," said Michael Arnold, Director of Marketing, ATP Flight School.

"We are incredibly proud to partner with Spirit in bringing ATP graduates the fastest track to become airline pilots and the opportunity to quickly establish a rewarding career.”