British Airways has launched its biggest pilot recruitment drive in more than 10 years.
The airline plans to take on more than 800 new pilots by 2016, using three combined recruitment programmes:
- A new programme to help people to train to become airline pilots for the first time, called the 'Future Pilot Programme'.
- Recruitment of qualified pilots from other airlines
- A joint initiative with the UK Armed Forces to provide military pilots with a planned career path into commercial aviation.
The British Airways Future Pilot Programme will help about 400 applicants to gain a place at an approved flight training school, with successful candidates landing a job as a British Airways pilot.
Previously people have been prevented or deterred from starting a career as an airline pilot, due to the initial private training costs of around £100,000, which they have had to find themselves. This programme helps students to secure funding to train as a pilot which they can pay back later in their career.
The airline is also using YouTube as a recruitment tool for the first time. Anyone interested in becoming British Airways' next generation of pilots can learn more about the programme and hear useful advice from current pilots from the clip on the company's dedicated YouTube site.
Captain Robin Glover, head of pilot recruitment at British Airways, said: "The Future Pilot Programme is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, from any background to realise their ambition of becoming a pilot and flying for British Airways.
"By removing the barrier of initial training costs and making it more accessible to a wider range of people, we hope to be able to attract the very best talent out there.
"It is a really exciting time to join British Airways as we are giving our customers even more choice by adding new destinations to our network including flights to San Juan and Marrakech and introducing new aircraft to our fleet.
"No other airline in the UK offers the opportunities that British Airways does for developing a career as a pilot."
Successful trainees will attend one of three world-class flight training colleges in the UK and Spain, with the initial training fees covered by sponsor company, Airline Placement Limited (APL), with British Airways acting as guarantor.
The Future Pilot Programme is part of a wider pilot recruitment plan at British Airways. The airline is also taking on current commercial pilots and working with the UK Armed Forces to give military pilots a new career in commercial aviation, once their agreed service period has ended.
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