Mission Aviation Fellowship

British Airways’ fully funded pilot programme now open

Hopefuls for the British Airways Speedbird Pilot Academy programme must submit their completed applications by the 25 September. The online application process leaves aspiring candidates with just days to complete the important online tests and forms to have the opportunity to become a British Airways pilot.

The creation of the British Airways Speedbird Pilot Academy programme eliminates the high entry cost when choosing a professional pilot career pathway. As well as axing all training costs, the British flag carrier expect the initiative to help increase diversity and equality for aspiring commercial pilots.

On top of paying all the necessary flight training fees, successful recruits will also have accommodation and food costs covered during their 16-month training period. This makes the Speedbird Pilot Academy programme one of the very few airline schemes that removes all associated costs from the individual.

After opening the application process on the 19 September, British Airways soon announced that its online system was ‘running slow,’ and for applicants to ‘please bear with us.’ Despite the airline not disclosing the reason behind the glitch, it could be assumed that system slowdown was a result of the high number of initial entrants.

“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,” adds 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, we are levelling the playing field by removing the initial training cost barrier to make a flying career more accessible to a wider range of people and giving everyone an equal chance.”

British Airways say that technical skill is important, but it is behaviour as a BA pilot that really sets them apart. Its pilots must be passionate and enthusiastic about the carrier’s purpose and its role in connecting Britain with the world and vice versa.

Applicants must demonstrate the passion and motivation to excel during the training programme, and the ability to remain calm under pressure and solve problems. The role will also require candidates to be effective team-players who can make important decisions in a timely manner.

Other entry requirements include:

  • 17 -55 years of age to apply and 18 start training. You will be 18 on or before the 1st March 2024
  • 6 GCSEs grade A-C or 5-9 including Maths, English and a Science or equivalent qualifications. If you have equivalent qualifications, please upload your certificates and we will gain the equivalency’s from ECCTIS.
  • Fluent in English (and, if applicable, an ICAO Level 6 on completion of training).
  • The right to study in the UK without sponsorship and remain in the UK for longer than 6 months.
  • A valid passport which permits unrestricted worldwide travel.
  • Your height must be between 1.57m (5’2″) and 1.90m (6’3″). If you are taller than 1.90m, you may apply, but may be required to undergo a functionality check.
  • Able to obtain and hold a UK CAA Class 1 medical with no restrictions and meet British Airways medical criteria.

For more information about the Speedbird Pilot Academy programme and its entry requirements including benefits, visit British Airways careers.

Author: FTN Editor

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