Based at Heathrow Airport in London, British Airways has announced its plans to hire a record 800 pilots over the next five years. The company, which merged in January with Spain’s Iberia to form International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, already employs approximately 3,200 pilots.
British Airways intends to use existing flight crews to operate the new aircraft, and will need additional personnel to take over the crews’ former duties as they train and upgrade their skills. “We are looking for new pilots essentially to cover training for pilots converting to new aircraft joining the fleet,” stated Cane.
In addition to manning aircraft as new models are added, job openings are also expected to be created due to attrition as numerous pilots reach retirement age or move to part-time schedules.
Staff to be recruited will be a combination of fledgling pilots and seasoned ones from military sources and rival carriers. Cane added, “ It is about recruiting the right mix of new and experienced pilots for British Airways for the years to come.”
To help meet the increased demand, British Airways is launching a training program designed to assist approximately 400 prospective applicants in gaining admission to flight training schools in Spain and the UK.
A sponsor company, Airline Placement Limited (APL), will cover the initial expenses, and British Airways will serve as the guarantor. Those candidates who successfully complete the training requirements will be offered pilot positions with British Airways.
The company also promises other benefits of working as a pilot for them including offering a breadth of aircraft across both the long-haul and short-haul which allows opportunity for developing skills and career advancement.
Newly hired employees will be expected to assist with day-to-day service coverage, and will fly aircraft already existing in the fleet, typically starting out with short domestic and European hauls across Gatwick and Heathrow.
British Airways is encouraging candidates interested in the new pilot positions and training program to apply online at britishairwaysjobs.com .