How to Become a British Airways Pilot

How to Become a British Airways Pilot

How to Become a British Airways Pilot

How to Become a Pilot with BA

British Airways (BA) have traditionally recruited pilots of all experience levels and from a wide range of backgrounds. This means that people who have no flying experience at all to very experienced pilots have all been eligible to join BA in the past. Ways to join BA as a pilot include:

BA Future Pilot Program (FPP)

The BA FPP is a cadet pilot program for people who want to become a pilot with BA. You do not need any prior flying experience to be accepted onto this program. If you are accepted onto the program, you will complete your flight training as a BA cadet with the knowledge that you will be joining BA as a cadet First Officer if you successfully complete your training. The training is completed at a flight school which is partnered with BA. FPP cadet pilots are usually required to pay for their own flight training but previously BA have offered financial assistance to cadets who are unable to fund the training themselves.

BA have traditionally run the FPP program about once a year but it has not been run since the COVID-19 pandemic started. For more information on the BA FPP program, keep your eye on the BA pilot recruitment website.

Low Hour Pilots

If you didn’t complete your flight training through the FPP, on occasions BA have also recruited pilots who have completed their flight training but are yet to get any commercial flying experience with an airline. These are typically referred to as ‘low hour pilots’. Historically BA have only recruited low hour pilots who went to certain integrated flight schools but more recently have opened applications up to modular pilots as well.

Direct Entry Pilot

BA also recruit pilots who have gained flying experience at other airlines. This experience can be on most commercial aircraft types flying short-haul or long-haul. For pilots with enough experience, BA have previously recruited pilots straight onto long haul fleets.

BA do not recruit Direct Entry Captains – all applications are for First Officer positions.


The pandemic has made the short to medium term pilot recruitment requirements very uncertain for many airlines across the world. BA are not currently accepting applications for any pilot positions but when they do, will be sure to post it on our latest pilot job board.

Please note that has no affiliation with BA. Any questions regarding BA pilot recruitment should be directed to British Airways through their recruitment website.

Becoming a BA pilot FAQs

As with any flight training course, it takes approximately 18-24 months to complete your commercial flight training.

A cadet First Officer can expect to earn between about £30,000 and £50,000 a year.

An experienced First Officer can expect to earn between around £70,000 and £120,000 a year, depending on experience.

A Captain can earn between about £120,000 and £200,000 a year, depending on experience.

BA operate both short-haul and long-hail aircraft types. They current fly the following aircraft types:

– A320

– A350

– B777

– B787