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British Airways Opens Applications For Fully-Paid Pilot Training Scheme


  • British Airways is offering to cover the training cost of 60 pilots annually in an effort to make pilot training more accessible and attract top talent.
  • The airline is focusing on diversity and working with organizations to promote the training opportunity to people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, other communities, and young women.
  • Applicants must meet certain requirements including having at least six GCSEs, meeting physical requirements, and passing a medical exam. Applications will only be open for seven days.

British Airways has launched a massive program that will cover the total training cost of 60 recruits every year. The airline hopes to widen its applicant pool by making the training process more accessible.

Investing in future pilots

It goes without saying that the aviation industry is crucial to society. Every month, millions depend on aircraft to travel for holidays, business, visiting loved ones, and other occasions. The world also relies on airplanes for cargo transport, whether for Amazon purchases or groceries. Analyzing the market and costs, British Airways has decided to make pilot training more accessible for its future pilots.

British Airways pilots standing near an aircraft's landing gear.

Photo: British Airways

British Airways is a massive global airline and the flag carrier of the UK, operating for more than 100 years. Almost 4,000 pilots are employed by British Airways, and the airline is growing. A few months ago, British Airways announced it would launch a program that would fully fund the training of up to 60 pilots annually. As of today, the program is officially open.

“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’re 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.” Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO, British Airways

As the airline expects the program to be in high demand, applications will remain open for just seven days, so those interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Focusing on diversity

Creating a diverse group of pilots is essential to British Airways, and the airline is working with Fantasy Wings to reach its goals. Fantasy Wings is a leading organization for diversity in the aviation industry and will promote the training opportunity to people from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds, other communities, and young women.

“I’m really proud to be flying for an airline offering this opportunity and would urge anyone who is interested in a highly rewarding career flying to destinations around the world to apply. I know there will be a lot of people who have never thought of being a pilot as a realistic option for them, but this cadet scheme changes that – and might just change your life.” – Hannah Vaughan, Senior First Officer, British Airways

Vaughan stressed the importance of attracting the best applicants and removing the financial barrier many previously faced.

British Airways A380 landing

Photo: Jarek Kilian I Shutterstock

Program requirements

As Simple Flying reported earlier this summer, the program has some requirements, but none of which are beyond reach for most. A candidate must have at least six GCSEs to participate in the program. A GCSE is a general certificate of secondary education in a subject typically taken by students between the ages of 14-16. There are also physical requirements. All applications must be at least 5’2″ and between the ages of 18-55 and pass a UK CAA Class 1 Medical Exam.

Read more about the program here.

  • British Airways Tile

    British Airways

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport

    Year Founded:


    Airline Group:

    Sean Doyle


    United Kingdom

    Loyalty Program:
    British Airways Executive Club


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