Career News

Ryanair to train 450 pilots in "mentored" scheme

DUBLIN - Boeing shared a remarkable snap from its Renton final assembly line this week: five 737-800 aircraft in a row in production for a single customer airline: Ryanair. The Irish budget airline just announced plans to hire up to 1,000 new pilots and train 450 cadets to support its growing fleet.


In the wake to clashes with pilot unions all over Europe Ryanair doubles down on flight training and co-sponsored type-ratings.

The airline mandated Cork-based Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) to train 450 pilots over the next five years within the framework of the "Ryanair-mentored Pilot Programme" - a fast track for ab intio level cadets into a Ryanair cockpit.

"This new 16-month intensive training programme gives trainee pilots a structured path to achieve their pilot licence and reach a standard where they are ready to join the Ryanair Boeing 737 type-rating programme," Ryanair said. Trainee pilots on the programme will be trained by AFTA instructors using Ryanair procedures.

“This new Ryanair-AFTA programme will provide the airline with a steady pipeline of talented and professional pilots from around Europe to meet the needs of our growing network," added Ryanair Head of Crew Training Capt. Andy O`Shea. "Ryanair will hire up to 1,000 pilots per annum over the next 5 years and our pilots can look forward to unmatched opportunities." (2018/09/18, Image credit: Boeing)

CAE to train 400+ MPL cadets for AirAsia

KUALA LUMPUR - CAE will train an additional 400+ pilots for AirAsia. The FTO and the Asian low-cost airline extend their MPL cadet program into 2023.

Eight years and counting: CAE will remain AirAsia`s wingman in pilot training for the next five years at least. The new agreement to train 400+ pilots for the A320 fleets of AirAsia at CAE facilities in Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Phoenix was announced at the APATS conference in Singapore this week.


"Developing more than 400 future pilots that we will immerse in a professional training environment from day one is truly a testament to the success of the program we started together with our partner AirAsia eight years ago," said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. "Today, we are proud to see graduates from this advanced program successfully flying as captains."

Since 2010, more than 85 AirAsia cadets have trained through the MPL program. Since 2017, the first nine AirAsia-sponsored CAE MPL cadets have been earned their fourth stripe on the uniform. (2018/08/30, Photo credit: Airbus)

Qantas to open two Pilot Academy sites

SYDNEY - The Qantas Group confirmed it will open its Pilot Academy across two locations in regional Australia to meet anticipated pilot demand.

The Academy is part of the Qantas Group’s plans to build a long-term talent pipeline for its airlines and the broader industry to meet the increasing need for skilled aviators. Boeing’s latest estimates show that 790,000 more pilots will be required globally over the next 20 years, around one third of them in Asia Pacific.

Initial plans for the Qantas Group Pilot Academy were announced in February this year and it’s expected the first site will be operational during 2019. Nine regional cities across Australia – Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth, Toowoomba and Wagga Wagga – have been shortlisted. A decision on both sites will be announced in coming weeks, according to Qantas.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said that initial scoping had shown that two locations would be needed to reach the Academy’s potential. "We’re aiming to train up to 100 pilots in year one but we expect this to grow to as many as 500 a year and that can only be achieved if we have more than one location," Joyce said. (2018/08/24)


Global pilot population to double

SEATTLE - Boeing released its 2018 Pilot & Technician Outlook, projecting demand for 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years. This represents double the current workforce and the most significant demand in the outlook´s nine-year history.

Boeing 2018 Outlook

"The demand is being driven by an anticipated doubling of the global commercial airplane fleet as well as record-high air travel demand and a tightening labor supply", Boeing said in a statement.

"Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labor supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near-term," said Boeing`s Keith Cooper. "An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this."

Boeing offers the Pilot Development Program – an accelerated training program that guides future pilots from early stage ab-initio training through type rating as a first officer – to help operators meet their growing pilot needs. Boeing also helps operators improve crew efficiency with tools that optimize resources and minimize disruption.

Demand for commercial cabin crew increased slightly from 839,000 to 858,000, due to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer more personalized service. In addition, 32,000 new cabin crew will be required to support business aviation. (2018/07/24, Image credit: Boeing)

Airbus: Airlines to hire 540,000 new pilots by 2037

FARNBOROUGH - Airbus forecasts a 1.5 trillion US-Dollar market for flight operation services along with an increasing demand for cockpit crews.

Airbus First Officer

By 2037 "fleets are expected to more than double to 48,000 aircraft", Airbus said at the sidelines of Farnborough Airshow near London. These numbers resonate with the latest Boeing forecast for the commercial aircraft market. Both manufacturers agree that global fleet growth rates will trigger unseen demand for pilots.

Airbus estimates a hiring spree for 540,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. "This trend will require smarter ways of training using new digital technologies," Airbus said.

Qantas and US majors like American and JetBlue Airways respond to the risk of pilots shortages in their fleets and create in-house pilot training academies to match supply and demand. (2018/07/18, Image credit: Airbus)

Cities shortlisted for new Qantas Group Pilot Academy

SYDNEY - Qantas is looking for a home for its new flight school. The Australian airline giant published a shortlist of possible sites.

Starting 2019 the Qantas Group Pilot Academy will commence operations for an eventual training of up to 500 cadets annually - in an environment of growing pilot shortage in Asia-Pacific, Qantas takes control over its cockpit crew supply.

More than 60 regional cities put forward proposals to become the location of the academy and nine regional cities across Australia have been selected to move to the next phase of the process:

  • Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  • Bendigo, Victoria
  • Busselton, Western Australia
  • Dubbo, New South Wales
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • Mackay, Queensland
  • Tamworth, New South Wales
  • Toowoomba, Queensland
  • Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

"Narrowing down the possible locations from more than 60 to just nine wasn’t easy," says Qantas Group Pilot Academy executive Wes Nobelius. "It will be harder still to whittle this down to just one." A final decision on the academy’s location is expected to be made in the third quarter of this year. (2018/06/26)



Austrian Airlines still looking for 2018 cadets

VIENNA - This week 20 pilot trainees started their training to become pilots for Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines. The airline still has room for 34 people for the courses in August and November, and room for 96 future pilots for the training beginning in 2019.


"The call for applications targets women and men without any previous experience as pilots," Austrian said in a statement. The training of a pilot lasts for two years and costs about EUR 100,000 - a bearable burden as Austrian will cover a fair share of these costs and provide financing for the rest.

"Austrian Airlines now offers a lower repayment amount for the pilot training. Instead of the customary repayment totalling about EUR 60,000 up until now, pilots will only have to assume costs of EUR 40,000 over a period of ten years," the airline said. "The company itself will now bear the majority of the costs."

The training course which began this week is the sixth one within the context of Austrian Airlines’ own training program and commenced right away with theoretical instruction held in Bremen, Germany. Subsequently the first training flight will take place in Goodyear, Arizona (USA). Upon successful completion of the 22-month training period, the trainees will be given the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).

The requirements demanded of prospective candidates include EU citizenship, a secondary school leaving certificate, secondary school vocational certificate, or the subject-related university entrance qualification of the country of origin. Furthermore, candidates should be at least 165 cm tall and have an unrestricted passport. In addition, they should have a very good command of written and spoken German and English. People wearing glasses or contact lenses may only have maximum of +/- 3.0 diopter lenses. More information is available to potential applicants at (2018/05/11)

American Airlines to provide fully-financed cadet training

DALLAS - American Airlines responds to a looming pilot shortage in the U.S. with an own cadet training, career planning and financing scheme.

American Cadet 2

U.S. pilot shortage is expected to peak at 15.000 vacant cockpit positions by 2026, according to a recent study by the University of North Dakota. American Airlines wants to take no HR gamble and joined forces with three flight schools to establish the American Airlines Cadet Academy along with a financing scheme to cover tuition and living expenses during the 18 months programme.

"The lack of financing options has restricted the size of the pilot pool," says Kimball Stone, American`s VP Flight Operations. Another factor contributing to cockpit bottlenecks are unclear career paths at U.S. majors.

American Airlines intends to offer graduates of its pilot academy initial First Officer assignement at one of its three wholly owned regional affiliates - with an option to change into mainline operation later on. (2018/04/25, Credit: American Airlines)

More information: American Airlines Cadet Academy

Lufthansa Aviation Training to introduce five DA-42

ROSTOCK - Lufthansa Aviation Training parts ways with its Piper PA-44 aircraft. Flight students will earn their wings on a new fleet of Diamond DA-42 "Twin Stars" instead.

Lufthansa introduces a new fleet of five trainer aircraft at its Rostock-Laage facility in northern Germany. Diesel-powered Diamond DA-42 replace the ten year old Pipers and will be phased into flight training by May 2018, Lufthansa said.

Lufthansa DA-42

The wider range aircraft will extend training operations beyond Laage while saving fuel. An anti-icing-system and weather radar allow for training flights even in adverse flying conditions.

Lufthansa Aviation Training forecasts a "massive demand" for new pilots in the years to come and provides educational services within and beyond the Lufthansa airline group. About 500 flight students will join European Flight Academy - the flight training arm of Lufthansa - this year to complete training at Lufthansa facilities in Bremen, Phoenix and Rostock. (2018/04/16, Image credit: Lufthansa)


Scoot to accept SFC cadet applications

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines recently consolidated all low-cost operation under its Scoot brand. The unit ventures into cadet training to support pilot recruitment within its growing Airbus A320 and Boeing 787 fleets.


"We are partnering with our preferred training organisation, Singapore Flying College (SFC) to develop the Scoot Cadet Programme to groom our own talent," Scoot announced on its website. "Our cadets will undergo a customised self-funded 18 months training course at SFC."

Applicants need to be 18+ years of age and legally entitled to work in Singapore upon completion of training. SFC graduation level will be a Commercial Pilot Licence (Instrument Rating) or frozen ICAO ATPL. The current application window for Scoot opened in April 2018. (2018/04/06)

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