Low Hour Pilot Programs

Low Hour Pilot Schemes

Various programmes that assist low hour pilots into the airline industry

BA CityFlyer Flight Technical Services Placement – January 2017

In late 2015, BACF ran a program to recruit a fully qualified pilot into a Flight Technical Services position. The successful candidate spends two years in this position before going onto complete a fully bonded Embraer 170/190 type rating in order to operate as a First Officer. This scheme ran through Kura Aviation.

Ryanair Technical Services / Flight Operations Cadet Graduate Program – February 2016

In 2016 Ryanair opened recruitment for a Cadet Graduate Program where the successful applicant joins the Flight Operations / Technical Services department for 12 months, before being recommended to CAE for a self sponsored Boeing 737 type rating and joining the airline as a First Officer.

From the Ryanair recruitment website:

“This is a unique opportunity for two exceptional candidates to gain invaluable experience in understanding the operation of Ryanair’s Flight Operations and Technical Services departments and its development during a period of immense growth. Ryanair’s Flight Operations and Technical Services departments are responsible for all matters relating to flight crew Standards; Training; Performance Engineering; Reliability; Maintenance Programme; Avionics; Structures; Powerplant; Systems and Technical Records. The departments work closely with Boeing; Equipment Suppliers; Maintenance Organisations; Service Providers national aviation authorities and the EASA.

The successful candidate(s) will participate in Ryanair’s Technical Services/Flight Operations cadet graduate programme on a One Year Fixed Term Contract.”

Thomson Airways

In 2015, Thomson Airways recruited a number of low hour pilots for First Officer positions who had jobs within the company but outside of the flight deck.

Internal easyJet Pilot Recruitment – Ongoing

We have information regarding an internal scheme easyJet ran earlier this year and are expected to continue running over the coming years. If you are in possession of CPL/IR, upon completion of 18 months of service with easyJet in any role (eg, cabin crew, ground ops etc), you may be given the opportunity to be put through through the L3 Aviation Academy Airline Qualification Course (AQC) and A320 Type Rating. You are then offered a Flexi Crew Contract position as a First Officer with easyJet with the option to apply for a permanent contract subject to availability and after acquiring over 500 hours flight time as a First Officer. Successful candidates pay £5,000 toward training costs, the rest is covered by a 3 year company bond. Check out our “Aviation Jobs” tab in our “Airline Pilot Jobs” section for relevant ground & cabin crew roles now available with easyJet.

Jet2.com Pilot Apprentice – November 2016

Jet2 have recently recruited for a Pilot Apprentice position. Successfull applicants spend approximately two years working in various deparments within the airline before going on to complete a bonded type rating to operate as a First Officer for the airline. This program last ran in 2015 and is expected to run again during 2016.

L3 Aviation Academy ATP 

This is basically an advanced MCC course that leads to placement with one of L3 Aviation Academy’s partner airlines. They have traditonally placed sucsessful ATP cadets with easyJet, Monarch, Thomson Airways and British Airways.

The program requires that you sit the standard L3 Aviation Academy Wings selection. If you’re successful in selection you’ll complete their Airline Qualifications Course (AQC). This is similar to a Jet Orientation Course and is completed on a fixed base 737 or A320 simulator.

On completion of this to an acceptable standard, you are placed in their ATP holding pool awaiting placement with one of their partner airlines. L3 Aviation Academy usually place their ATP cadets with partner airlines when they are unable to meet airline demand with their “Wings” holding pool (the cadets who complete the full integrated training with L3 Aviation Academy).
Historically, cadets from the ATP program have been placed with airlines such as easyJet, Monarch and Thomson Airways.

The L3 Aviation Academy program opens and closes for applications on a periodic basis.

Eagle Jet

A “pay to fly program”. We would not recommend any type of pay to fly program. Pay to fly lowers the terms and conditions across the industry and whilst there is a demand for it, increasing numbers of airlines are departing from the traditional recruitment methods of a bonded type rating, putting much more financial onus and risk on the student.

We provide the information about Eagle Jet for reference as to what this type of scheme involves. Again, we do not recommend you follow this route.

You purchase a type rating and/or line training on the 737 or A320 with 300 or 500 hours on type. The cost is in the region of £40,000. There is no guarantee of employment when the type experience has been completed. It is not common place for airlines to recruit pilots with only 500 hours of experience on type.