British Airways has launched its biggest pilot recruitment drive in more than a decade. The UK flag carrier plans to take on more than 800 new pilots by 2016, using three combined recruitment programmes. These include the a scheme to help people train to become airline pilots for the first time, called the ‘Future Pilot Programme’, as well as a drive to recruit experienced pilots from other airlines, and a joint initiative with the UK Armed Forces to provide military pilots with a career path into commercial aviation.
The British Airways Future Pilot Programme is intended to train about 400 applicants, with successful candidates landing a job as a BA pilot. Previously people have been deterred from starting a career as an airline pilot, due to the initial private training costs, which BA estimated to be around GBP100,000 (US$162,000), which they have had to find themselves. BA’s new scheme will help students to secure funding to train as a pilot which they will pay back later in their career.
Captain Robin Glover, BA’s Head of Pilot Recruitment, said; “The Future Pilot Programme is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, from any background to realise their ambition of becoming a pilot and flying for British Airways.
“By removing the barrier of initial training costs and making it more accessible to a wider range of people, we hope to be able to attract the very best talent out there.
“It is a really exciting time to join British Airways as we are giving our customers even more choice by adding new destinations to our network and introducing new aircraft to our fleet.
“No other airline in the UK offers the opportunities that British Airways does for developing a career as a pilot.”
Successful trainees will attend one of three flight training colleges in the UK and Spain, with the initial training fees covered by sponsor company, Airline Placement Limited (APL).