Who Offers Flight Training Sponsorship?
A look at which companies offer to pay for their cadet pilot training costs
Flight Training Sponsorship Options
From September the 11th 2001 to 2019, very few airlines offered to sponsor commercial pilot training. Following 9/11, the travel demand dropped significantly and many pilots found themselves unemployed. Just as the industry was starting to recover with airline recruitment becoming widespread, along came the 2008 financial crisis and the effects of this were felt for ten years with many airlines going bust.
This started to change in 2019. There started to be a shift in attitude regarding cadet sponsorship from some airlines, with companies such as Aer Lingus and easyJet offering to sponsor the majority of the cost of flight training for some lucky cadets. Unfortunately, this positive momentum has been destroyed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the number of pilots who have found themselves out of work and the devastated finances of the airlines who survived, it is unlikely that flight training sponsorship will return any time soon.
There are still some organisations who offer grants or financial assistance, which we have listed below. If airlines start to reintroduce sponsored cadet programs, we will list them here.
The Honourable Company of Air Pilots (GAPAN) – January 2021
Formerly the Guild of Pilot and Navigators, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots offer a range of scholarships every year. This includes:
- Private Pilots Licence
- Theoretical Air Transport Pilots Licence Training
- Flight Instructor Ratings
- Jet Orientation Courses
- Gliding Scholarships
- Instrument Rating Bursaries
Airways Aviation – Part Flight Training Sponsorship – September 2019
Airways Aviation are now offering £15,000 towards the cost of the their integrated flight training program. Applicants must meet the same criteria as stated for their Integrated Training entry requirements whilst also being an UK or Irish Passport Holder. These include:
- Have a valid Class One Medical
- Hold 5 GCSE’s passes
- Be at least 18 years old
Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund (MMBF)
The fund welcomes applications from anywhere in the world and aims to support individuals whose careers are at standstill due to having no resources to move their careers forward. The foundation was formed by Mathetes Chihwai better known by his stage name Matthew C. Martino.
According to the MMBF’s website applicants will be allowed to apply for up to three different grants or sponsorships and although some grants are age restricted the Trustee’s will be open to reviewing applicants from other applicants who feel they qualify for sponsorship.
West Atlantic Cadet Program
West Atlantic usually run a fully sponsored cadet program approximately once a year. If you have a PPL, they offer to cover the costs of all of your flight training to obtain a frozen Air Transport Licence before going on to fly one of their aircraft.
To apply for the program you are required to hold the following:
- Private Pilots Licence (which can be sponsored through GAPAN)
- A Class One Medical (see our “Medical Requirements” section for more information)
- The right to live and work in the UK (European citizen)