Mission Aviation Fellowship

British Airways launches sponsored pilot cadet programme

British Airways announce a new sponsored pilot training programme that funds all pilot training costs for 60 pilots a year. British Airways say that professional flight training costs for aspiring pilots can top £100,000. The major’s latest multi million pound initiative will axe the prohibitively high entry cost that push the profession beyond most peoples reach. 

“The Speedbird Pilot Academy will make the ambition of becoming a British Airways pilot a reality for people who had previously written the option off because of the cost barrier,” explains Sean Doyle, chairman and CEO at British Airways. “Our aim is to attract the very best talent out there for our future generation of pilots. Whether someone is just leaving school or embarking on a second career they never thought possible.”

The British Airways Speedbird Academy will  place successful candidates with an approved training organisation (ATO). After graduating the course, the newly qualified pilot will then be awarded a position at British Airways.

According to Doyle the British major is levelling the playing field by removing the initial training cost barrier and giving a wider range of people an equal chance. Once training is complete, cadets can expect to earn a starting salary around £34,000 per year, plus allowances.

Hannah Vaughan, British Airways senior first officer and former cadet says: “This is a great career for anyone. You will naturally need a love for flying and travel, but being a British Airways pilot offers so much more.

“From working with an incredibly dedicated team and meeting customers from around the world to benefitting from world-class training facilities. I would absolutely recommend it as a career path.”

Applications will open in September 2023, with training planned to start in the new year. Applicants will need:

6 GCSE’s (or equivalent), Grade A-C or 5-9 (including English, Maths and one of the Sciences)

To be a minimum height of 5ft 2in

To be aged between 18 and 55

To pass a UK CAA Class 1 Medical

The Speedbird Pilot Academy is one part of the airline’s wider pilot recruitment plan. British Airways continues to recruit current commercial pilots and is working with the UK Armed Forces to provide military pilots new career opportunities in commercial aviation once their agreed service period has ended.

Author: FTN Editor

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