Students looking for an aviation career will soon have an alternative to student loans. For the first time, San Diego-based aviation training startup Flex Air announced the launch of a program that offers Income Share Agreements (ISAs).

Leif, the company that provides Income Share Agreement (ISA) program management and financing, launched and manages the ISA for Via Careers, a flight training program.

“We think all skilled and dedicated student pilots should have access to that industry, regardless of credit history, co-signer availability, or other socio-economic factors,” said Paul Wynns, Flex Air CEO.

Under ISA, the students will pay a percentage of their income after graduation for a set period of time.

Flex Air cited severe air transport pilot shortage and equitable access to all the students to realize their dreams of becoming a pilot as the reason for the launch of the program.

A recent report by The Boeing Company pegs demand of new pilots in North America in the coming decades at more than 200,000, which could possibly drive more than $21bn in training revenue.

“Student pilots bound for airline careers are an especially good fit for ISAs due to the widespread wage transparency, predictable career paths, and seniority-based pay systems at all air carriers,” Flex air said in a release.

Over the last few years, many reports have recommended for substituting the federal student loan programs with ISAs. The argument they put forth is that the current federal student loan program unequally distributes the benefits and fails to offer protections for borrowers in financial difficulty.

On the other hand, ISA provides adequate resources for borrowers and relieves students of the financial hardship perpetuated by student loans.

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