British Airways has launched a Whitetail Recruitment Programme in partnership with five approved training organisations (ATOs) – CAE, FTEJerez, Leading Edge Aviation, L3Harris and Skyborne.
The programme was announced at a Pilot Careers Live event held at Manchester Airport in early July and is part of a recruitment drive to place 500 new pilots with the British flag carrier over the next two years.
‘Whitetail’ is the term used to describe a pilot training programme with no airline affiliation, with cadets self-sponsoring their training and then applying to airlines for jobs once qualified.
Under BA’s new scheme, cadets enrolled on whitetail training programmes with any of the five ATOs are now eligible to join the Whitetail Recruitment Programme, subject to meeting certain eligibility criteria. Those that meet the requirements will then be ‘tagged’ by BA as suitable for future employment with the airline.
The scheme is open to cadets enrolled on flight training programmes at any of the five ATOs and BA confirms that it will accept cadets pursuing either modular or integrated training pathways.
In order to be eligible to apply, applicants will need to have completed their Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory exams, achieving an average pass mark of at least 85% with no more than three retakes. Applicants are also only allowed to have re-enrolled on a course once and must achieve a first series pass in their CPL and IR flight tests. APS MCC certification must also be acquired if not already included in their ATPL training programme, as well as Upset Prevention Recovery Training (UPRT).
Successful candidates will then join BA Euroflyer on the A320 fleet at London Gatwick Airport and will be added to the BA Master Seniority List (MSL) from the date of commencing employment. Type rating training will be funded by the airline with a six-year bond at BA Euroflyer after which pilots can apply to transfer to any BA mainline fleet without interview, maintaining their MSL number.
The application process involves an initial video interview, followed by an online capacity test. Applicants will then then be asked to attend an interview at a BA assessment centre, which will include a group exercise assessment. Applicants will then be emailed the results of their assessments and if successful will be given a provisional offer of employment subject to conditions.
BA says that applications with first time exam passes will be given priority, followed by those with first series passes with one resit, and then those who have taken no more than three resits. BA adds that it is anticipating a large number of applications and therefore may take the decision to increase screening criteria without prior notice if deemed necessary.
Widening the recruitment pool further, BA has also indicated that it is about to relaunch its Newly Qualified Pilot Pathway (NQPP). Specific details have yet to be made public, but BA did confirm that it will be available to anyone who has completed either a modular or integrated training course and that this can be from any ATO and not just one of the five selected for BA’s Whitetail Recruitment Programme. Details of the programme will be available at British Airways careers.
Additionally, for those transitioning from the military, BA is working on a managed pathway agreement with the MoD due to launch next year, requiring pilots to have amassed at least 1,500hrs and to be within two years of their pension point.
Finally, BA confirmed at Pilot Careers Live that a new cadet programme is currently being worked on, potentially providing either funded or financially underwritten training for aspiring pilots who would otherwise struggle to pay for their training. BA advises potential applicants to keep an eye out on the airline’s social media streams for further news on the initiative.
Picture accredited to Nick Morrish and British Airways media library