The newly-launched ‘BEng Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies degree programme’ is delivered in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.
This programme gives candidates the flexibility to pursue a degree which includes a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), with the option for students to study the Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL) theory and practical flight training alongside their degree, enabling trainees to qualify as a commercial pilot whilst also obtaining an aviation degree.
The Wings Alliance is a not-for-profit association of modular flight schools across Europe run on ethical principles. They say that their programmes are designed to place individuals in their first airline job at a lower cost than competitors but with no compromise on quality, and the programmes are suitable for people with little or no flying experience.
Including the new degree programme, Wings Alliance offer three training programmes, delivered in a variety of European locations and developed, the Alliance says, to fit around the needs of individuals rather than them having to adapt their commitments to fit around the training.
Wings Alliance say that the courses are all preceded by selection to ensure that this is an appropriate choice for the individual before they commit to significant time and expense.
Alex Whittingham, founder of the Wings Alliance, said: “This is just what the industry needs, our programmes give individuals a real choice and a real high value alternative for aspiring commercial pilots who are seeking a supported route to airline employment.” He added: “Our modular programmes cost substantially less than traditional integrated courses. Our Members do not have big company overheads and the Alliance itself is run as a not-for-profit organisation.”
Graduate Hanna Kerr, First Officer with Loganair said: “I chose to do my APS-MCC through the Wings Alliance because I believe the course offered me the best training I could have received as a cadet. I thoroughly enjoyed the sim phase of the training and it really prepared me for what to expect during my type rating.
“The course develops pilot competencies and the sim phase really gives a good insight of how to use the skills daily as a pilot. I got my first job seven weeks after finishing my Wings Alliance APS-MCC and I could not be happier, doing amazing flying every day; it’s a real dream come true.”
In addition to the degree programme, the Wings Alliance offer a flexible programme which can be completed on a part or full-time basis, providing individuals with the ability to train around their other commitments. The programme can be joined at any stage of training. Overall costs are typically just over half of traditional ‘integrated’ training programmes, starting from £50,000.
Other key features of this route include:
• Flexibility to join at any stage of training.
• Training duration from as little as 12 months
• Typical training costs £50,000 to £60,000
A full-time cadet programme is delivered by Bartolini Air, a Wings Alliance member in Poland, where individuals complete the flight training element of this course and Bristol Groundschool in the UK who provide aviation theory tuition.