Aer Lingus Future Pilot Programme open

Aer Lingus is now accepting on-line applications after opening the first stage in its Future Pilot pilot training programme. Successful applicants to the Future Pilot programme will eventually become pilots for the the Irish flag carrier. 

The Aer Lingus Future Pilot Programme combines classroom study and practical flight training in aircraft and flight simulators. After graduating cadets will receive a Multi Pilot Commercial Licence and a position in the right-hand seat of an Aer Lingus A320 Aircraft.

The fully funded new pilot initiative follows similar ‘no upfront fees’ steps recently made by British Airways and TUi in an attempt to boost pilot numbers and diversity within the industry. 

Located in Southern Spain, FTE Jerez will be the training provider and the first port of call for cadets during the initial pilot training phase of the course. Following is then an intensive 12 week A320 type rating course held at Aer Lingus head quarters in Dublin.  

According to Captain Karl O’Neill, chief instructor ATO Recruitment at Aer Lingus: We are looking for candidates with diverse backgrounds to join our team. Aer Lingus has a proud tradition in pilot training and has been offering Future Pilot Training Programmes for almost sixty years. These programmes offer candidates a unique opportunity to join our expanding team as an Aer Lingus Pilot via this fully sponsored scheme.”

O’Neill adds that if you have just finished school and college, or want to change career, this could be the right move for your future. Expanding on the topic O’Neill says, “most of our pilots have joined us from other industries, and we urge to consider doing the same.

“To secure a place on this course, you need to be highly motivated and must demonstrate the competencies required to become a commercial airline pilot. If successful, your journey towards becoming a pilot with Aer Lingus will begin in September 2024,” explains O’Neill. 

What is Aer Lingus looking for?

Aer Lingus is looking to attract talented people who are motivated, engaged and passionate about aviation and the iconic Aer Lingus brand. Ideally candidates must be, technically minded, mature, responsible and committed to succeed. 

Applicants need to possess excellent communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills, as well as an appreciation of the service our guests expect. Also applicants should demonstrate willing to balance a fast paced, technically challenging and dynamic environment, with safety and exceptional customer service.

Essential criteria for the application

  • 18 years of age on or before 10 April 2024
  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • Eligible to live and work permanently in the EU/Ireland
  • Valid unrestricted worldwide passport
  • Able to pass an airport security vetting procedure, including a five-year background check*
  • Two verifiable references
  • Able to obtain an EASA/IAA issued Class 1 Medical, including successfully passing a colour blindness test. Please refer to prior to application to ensure you can meet all medical requirements in line with eyesight/colour blindness limitations

*If you are a not an Irish citizen, you will require a current police disclosure certificate from your home country, if successful.

*If you have resided outside the Republic of Ireland for six months or more, you will also require a current police disclosure certificate from those country/countries. 

Minimal educational criteria 

You must have passed your Leaving Certificate (6 subjects) or equivalent*. Minimum Leaving Certificate Grades:

  • O5 grades in English and Mathematics at ordinary level or H6 at higher
  • 2 higher level subjects with a minimum of H5 grades in the Leaving Certificate

*Equivalent grades are as follows:

  • GCSE Maths and English must be minimum of grade C plus
  • 3 A Levels taken at A2 level in any subject with minimum grades C, C, D
  • Where the minimum Leaving Certificate or equivalent grades have not been met, you must have one of the following qualifications.

Next steps

All completed online application forms must be submitted by 17.00 GMT on Wednesday 10 April 2024.

  • No further applications will be accepted after that time
  • Applications will be thoroughly screened
  • Candidates who progress through the screening will receive on-line assessments and will be given 72 hours to complete. Please complete the assessments as soon as possible as after this time the link will no longer be available
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to the group assessment stage which will be held in Dublin between Monday 10 June 2024 and Friday 28 June 2024
  • Please note that you will be required to provide copies of your Leaving Certificate or equivalent (including any third level degree or aviation related apprenticeship) to verify that you meet the essential criteria at application stage and during the group assessment centre stage in Dublin
  • Candidates may also be asked to retake the online assessments during the assessment centre
  • Part of the selection process involves passing a Class 1 and a pre-course medical


Visit Aer Lingus for detailed information about the criteria and to apply. 

Image accredited to Aer Lingus media gallery 

Author: FTN Editor

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