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JetBlue to Expand Program That Turns Grocery Clerks Into Pilots

  • Initial candidate group moves into second year of training
  • Cost of program, not classes, turns out to be biggest obstacle
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Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

JetBlue Airways Corp. is looking for more supermarket clerks and accountants to train to fly its planes as the U.S. airline industry copes with a looming pilot shortage.

The New York-based carrier said its first-in-the-U.S. training program that turns people with little or no flying experience into commercial jet pilots has been so successful that it’s seeking a second round of candidates. The company is taking online applications for the four-year, $125,000 program starting Wednesday and running through Sept. 30.