Career News

Turkish Airlines to open 2024 application window

ISTANBUL - Turkish Airlines is about to tenfold its cadet pilot training capacities. The airline needs a steady stream of new pilots to support an ambitious growth strategy that will see its fleet double in size to more than 800 aircraft over the next ten years. An application window is open until the end of December.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish citizenship or Blue Card, a bachelor´s degree and good physical health: Turkish Airlines is inviting prospective cadet pilots born 2003 or later to take an aptitude test for its flight training program.

The current application window is open until December 29, 2023. The process includes a pilot aptitude screening by DLR 1 test, an English language test, an interview and a health exam.

Turkish Airlines is in high demand for new pilots - the airline plans to almost double its fleet to over 800 aircraft within the next ten years. Capacities of Turkish Airlines Aviation Academy will be aligned to support fleet growth rates - instead of the current cap at 200 students per year, Turkish Airlines wants to train up to 2,000 students per year to become pilots.

We recommend SkyTest® Preparation Software for DLR 1 (BU/GU) to practise for the Turkish Airlines assessment center (download price: 89.95 EUR; 2023/12/05, Image: Turkish Airlines)

NATS to reopen its student controller scheme

LONDON - NATS paused its student controller scheme through the pandemic. For the first time since 2019 the British air navigation service provider just opened an application window for future air traffic controllers.

NATS Air Traffic Controller


NATS resumes its student controller scheme at the Hampshire and Gloucester training facilities. Once passing an online assessment, successful candidates go through around nine months of "vigorous initial training", before being posted to an airport tower or control centre to complete their learning and assessments, according to NATS.

The British air navigation service provider is looking to attract more female talent to its course program. "Successful controllers come from all walks of life, but NATS is seeking to redress the gender imbalance that exists across the aviation industry, with the ambition that half of its new intake to be made up of women," NATS said.

NATS currently has around 1,600 controllers whose job is to safely manage the flow of aircraft through the UK’s busy and complex airspace, as well as at 15 of the country’s busiest airports.

"We have many wonderful women controllers, but they make up only around only 30 percent of the total and we want to change that," Helen Fuge, Head of Talent and HR Services at NATS, said.

Applicants for the NATS student controller scheme must be at least 18 years of age and permitted to work in the UK without sponsorship.

We recommend to prepare with SkyTest® Preparation Software for ATCO Screenings in UK and Ireland for the multi-stage NATS aptitude testing process. (2023/04/26, Image: NATS)




Turkish Airlines invites cadet pilot applications

Turkish Airlines opens a new application window for its cadet pilot programme. The airline will enroll new flight students with rather liberal restrictions on age.
Turkish Airlines
Fly Turkish Airlines - literally: The airline just openend an application window through June 30th 2023 for it next flight school course.
Prospective Turkish Airlines cadet pilots must present a bachelor´s degree and a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE English language certificate be considered in the application process. Flight school admission tests include a DLR 1 aptitude screening and an interview. Applicants must be born after Jan 1st 1993, Turkish Airlines says on its career website - this is quite a liberal age requirement by industry standards.
We recommend to prepare with SkyTest® Training Software for DLR 1 Screening for the Turkish Airlines aptitude testing process. (2023/04/02, Image: Turkish Airlines)




Air Baltic to hire 120 pilots

RIGA - Air Baltic has 315 pilots in its workforce. The airline is looking to add 120 pilots through 2023.

Air Baltic starts a recruitment drive. "While we continue to employ our Air Baltic Pilot Academy graduates and rehire former employees, this time our needs for additional staff reach further, meaning that we are looking for external pilots to join our company", Air Baltic CEO Martin Gauss said.


Air Baltic A220-300

Candidates must have EU citizenship, valid EU FCL CPL or ATPL license (EASA form 141), and have at least 300 hours of Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operations on aircraft with EFIS, FMA and FMS systems - MTOW of the aircraft at least 5.7 tonnes.

"Additional pilots are required to prepare the airline for capacity we will fly in summer 2023," Gauss said. The airline currently operates 34 Airbus A220 aircraft and will add six more by end of year. (2022/05/17,, Image: Air Baltic)




Norse launches cadet program for its 787 operation

OSLO - Norse Atlantic Airways and OSM Aviation Academy have agreed to work together to launch a cadet program that will prepare the flight academy’s students for a future career at the new long-haul airline.

Norse Boeing 787-9

Norse will take to the skies in the second quarter of 2022 and will operate affordable flights between Europe and North America with a fleet of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Once the airline is fully operational, the development and developing a cadet program will commence in close collaboration with OSM Aviation Academy.

"Initiating a career path and mentorship program for our pilots as early as their initial stages of education and training aligns with our values of inclusive, ownership and kindness. We believe that taking ownership and including our future colleagues at an early stage will be a key effort in securing the talent of tomorrow,” said Chief Culture Officer Kristin Berthelsen at Norse.

Norse’s CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen owns 73.5 percent of OSM Aviation Academy through his company BTLCO. (2022/02/18, Source:, Image: IAC/Norse)




North America to spearhead pilot job market recovery

LONDON - The dust settles on the crisis-shaken job market for pilots, although significant regional differences prevail. According to a recent global survey, one in three pilots has not returned to cockpit duty yet. Two years in the crisis only a few pilots have left aviation for good, a recent survey shows.

The overall situation for job-hunting pilots is improving. Still, while recovery is well on track in some markets, other regions continue to lag far behind.

81 percent of North American pilots are currently under employment by an airline, according to a recent survey among the global pilot community by "Goose Recruitment" and "FlightGlobal".

Airbus A330-900 (� Airbus)

In Europe almost two out of three pilots are back in the skies - the European employment rate of 62 percent exactly mirrors the global average, up from 43 percent a year ago.

Goose Aviation CEO Mark Charman highlights "uplifts in the salaries of first officers in North America of nearly 20 percent in the last two years", which might hint to "a shortage in the rank in the region". However, this positive trend seems highly confined to the U.S. indeed.

In Asia, by comparison, the situation tended to worsen in 2021 with 25 percent of pilots not under employment at all, up two percent from the previous year. Five percent of the global pilot demographic surveyed are still employed in the aviation ecosystem - but not in a cockpit. Only seven percent pursued careers in other industries.

Older pilots tend to be more pessimistic about their post-crisis careers than younger aviators. "My age and experience now feel like they are against me," one pilot said. "Too old and overqualified."

Other pilots expect to return to normal rosters and routines soon. "I have had periods off on maternity leave so this isn’t the longest I haven’t flown before," an European Captain said. "So I am confident my skills will return."

Airbus flags pilot shortage concerns

Things can change rapidly in both directions in a highly volatile pilot job market. Airbus recently raised concerns about a potential pilot shortage in the not too distant future. According to an Airbus estimate, airlines will need to hire up to 100,000 pilots over the next five years as retirements curb staffing.

"In 2020 alone, we reported that 16 percent of pilots flying in the North American region would retire by the end of 2021," Charman said. "This year, 20 percent of unemployed pilots who were most recently flying in the North American region were planning on retiring. Pilots are a valuable asset in Northern America right now."

This week an internal memo of Southwest Airlines raised eyebrows in the pilot community. The Texas based airline expects to hire 1,547 pilots through 2022 alone - and promote 628 First Officers to Captains. (2022/01/27, Text:, Image: Airbus)




Emirates to recruit 600 pilots by early 2022

DUBAI - Emirates ramps up hiring to support "accelerated recovery". The six months recruitment drive includes vacancies for 3,000 cabin crew, 1,200 technical staff, 1,200 airport service and ground staff - and 600 pilots.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates resumes operational recruitment to support a "sooner-than-expected surge in customer demand". The hiring spree will add about 6,000 new employees to the payroll over the next six months, Emirates said.

For the first time since the Covid-19 market collapse Emirates will also accept new pilots into its workforce. First Officers who apply for positions on the 777 and A380 will be considered even without a type rating for these fleets subject to 2,000 hours minimum experience on MTOW 20+ tonnes aircraft. (2021/10/27, Image: Emirates)

Delta Air Lines Pilot Recruiting

Delta Air Lines™ is currently recruiting First Officers, applications can still be submitted (2021/09/18).

According to our information, Delta uses the AON/cut-e™ tests for its online assessments. To prepare for them, we recommend to choose SkyTest® for Pan-Asian Pilot Screenings and focus on the following SkyTest® prep tests in particular:


Delta Air Lines

If you have any questions in selecting the right preparation software, just send us a quick message. (2021/09/18, Image: Delta Air Lines)




Ryanair consolidates training ops in recruitment drive

DUBLIN - Ryanair laid the groundwork for recovery and expansion with the opening of a new 50 million Euro training center in Santry, close to Dublin Airport. The Irish low-cost airline consolidates training operations under a new agreement with Airline Flight Academy (AFA) and announced a hiring spree.



The new Santry Training and Simulator Centre contains three full motion simulators - one for the 737 MAX and two for the Airbus A320 - along with with two fixed base simulators.

"Additionally, this new AFA Centre contains a state of the art cabin crew training and emergency evacuation device, as well as a specialist cabin fire training centre," Ryanair said. "The AFA Centre contains over 15 large classroom training centres and five individual pilot briefing/de-briefing rooms."

Access to these new facilities will enable Ryanair to recruit and train over 5,000 new pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations professionals over the next five years. Ryanair confirmed plans to grow its fleet to 600 aircraft by 2025 to support up to 200 million passengers per year.

Ryanair Eddie Wilson mulled plans to include additional training centers into the recruitment drive citing a Ryanair preference to recruit and train "native" Ryanair staff from the beginning of their careers.

Ryanair has chosen Airline Flight Academy to be its exclusive cadet training partner. "Under this agreement, Airline Flight Academy will operate and run the Training Centre, and will play a central role in recruiting the next generation of aviation professionals, including pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations professionals for Ryanair’s next phase of post Covid growth and expansion," Ryanair said. (2021/09/15, Text:, Photo: Eddie Wilson / © Leo Varadkar)



CAA: Pilots can hold both UK and EASA license

LONDON - Return path to a British license: the UK Civil Aviation Authority has launched a "simplified process" to allow pilots who transferred their licence and medical certificate to an EU member state in preparation for the end of the transition period to get their UK licence back.

Thousands of pilots transferred their documents to European member states in preparation for the end of the transition period in order to allow them to continue operating EU-registered aircraft.

Now that the UK has left the European aviation system, pilots are able to hold both a UK and European licence - something that was not possible under European regulations.

The new process is available to any pilot who held an EASA flight crew licence before the end of the transition period.

"I am really pleased we are able to offer this simplified route for pilots wishing to hold both a UK and EASA licence," CAA Director Rob Bishton said. "We know it was a tough decision for many pilots when they transferred their licences to another European member state and hope they will make use of this opportunity." (2021/04/14, Text:



CAE expects pilot job market to recover by late 2021

LONDON - Flight training provider CAE expects a robust return of pilot demand as early as late 2021. According to its recently updated market outlook, the global airline pilot population will grow from 333,000 in 2019 to 426,000 by 2029 - with a wave of retirements brightening career prospects for young pilots.


CAE market outlook 2020

Covid-19 turned to pilot job market from boom to gloom as airlines are forced to keep their fleets grounded furlough staff. Yet, the Canadian flight training provider sees limited long-term effects of the current crisis on pilot career prospects.

"CAE’s analysis shows that the fundamental factors influencing pilot demand prior to the Covid-19 outbreak remain unchanged", the company writes in its recently updated market outlook. "Age-based retirement and fleet growth were, and are expected to remain, the main drivers of pilot demand."

CAE investigated market data as airlines and operators are navigating the current downturn in passenger air travel and are pursuing recovery strategies following the outbreak of the global pandemic.

"Acute demand" for 27,000 new pilots

While the demand for pilots has decreased significantly during 2020, the CAE analysis expects the active pilot population is expected to return to 2019 levels in 2022.

"This is expected to drive an acute demand for pilots, resulting in an estimated short-term need for approximately 27,000 new professional pilots starting in late 2021," CAE said. Among the 333,000 active airline pilots of 2019, 126,000 will retire in this decade. CAE expects industry growth to add another 93,000 airline pilots jobs to the global total by 2029. (2020/11/19, Text:, Image: CAE)




Lufthansa keeps flight students grounded through 2020

PHOENIX - Lufthansa flight school EFA suspends all training operations "at least" until 2021 citing a second spike of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and dire mid-term career prospects for cadet pilots. Yet, EFA remains "convinced" that job market perspectives for pilots will eventually improve along with industry recovery.

European Flight Academy

"Lack of pilot demand and operational adjustments": EFA will keep its pilot training courses closed through 2020. Students complete some parts of flight training in Arizona, but the "rapid spreading" of Covid-19 cases in southern U.S. is only one of the reasons for EFA to extend its shutdown.

Covid-19 fallout on aviation turned the pilot job marked form shortage to surplus within months and Lufthansa needs to adapt. "Group airlines will have no demand for new pilots in the forseeable future," EFA said in a statement to

About 800 students are currently enrolled with EFA. The school will not start any new courses for the time being and discuss options for a "free termination of training contracts" with students who want to reconsider their career choices and leave the programme.

Yet, it is not all gloom and doom. "We remain convinced that market demand will pick up again in the long term and this will improve career prospects for pilots," EFA said. "However, we expect that it will take several years for the international aviation industry to recover to pre-crisis levels." (2020/07/10, Image: European Flight Academy)



Job alternative: With RailTest® from pilot to train driver

In COVID-19 crisis, many pilots have to be creative when looking for a job and have to choose jobs also outside the aviation industry. One option is to switch from the air to the rail, to start as a lateral entrant as train driver after several months of training. Railway companies in the whole world have hundreds of vacancies in their cabs.

Also train drivers must pass psychological-diagnostic performance checks. To prepare for these aptitude tests, SkyTest® is launching the new RailTest® product line, to practise appropriate tests in advance. Further information on RailTest® are available at (2020/05/08).






Pilot unions vow to fight contractor schemes

LONDON - Covid-19 shakes the pilot job market. While government furlough and short-time work schemes protect airline staffers from immediate redundancies, one group faces unemployment: contract pilots. According to pilot union ECA one out five European pilots works in an atypical framework.

"Agreement terminated", "your services no longer required", "your last salary may not be paid". This is what thousands of technically self-employed contractor pilots and cabin crew have been told by airlines or staffing agencies over the past few weeks.

"Atypical employment in aviation is merely a smokescreen for regular employment with the attached responsibilities ignored," says ECA President Jon Horne. "We have often warned that these broker agency set-ups and bogus self-employment schemes create a pool of disposable workers with diminished rights and no access to labour laws."


"Experience vacuum"

In the eyes of ECA, the current crisis is a "wake-up call" that "killed the last argument that the contractor model could be in some way good" for pilots. "Any national or EU financial aid or support to airlines must be made conditional on socially responsible behaviour and acting in the public interest."


In April, Norwegian Air closed crewing agencies effectively sending 1.570 pilots and 3.130 cabin crew into unemployment. CAE Crewing Services started a dismissal process for Spanish crews of SAS Ireland.

According to an ECA estimate, nearly one out of five European pilots is on a precarious contract. With young pilots the rate comes in even higher at 40 percent.

"Right now, we see airlines with sufficient liquidity laying off atypically employed aircrew workers, just because it is easy to do so", says ECA General ECA Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau. "Even experienced pilots will simply not manage to find a job, leaving an experience vacuum which will take years to rebuild." (2020/05/04, Image: Norwegian Air, symbolic)




United Airlines buys flight school Westwind

PHOENIX - United Airlines expects to hire more than 10,000 pilots throughout the 2020s. The U.S. industry behemoth ventures into flight training to hedge its cockpit staffing needs.

Demographics were in key driver behind United`s decision to buy Phoenix-based Westwind School of Aeronautics as half of its pilots will turn or apporach 65 by 2029 - the mandatory retirement age for pilots flying in the United States.

Westwind - rebranding as "United Aviate Academy" is expected to churn out more than 300 young pilots into United`s fleets in its first year of operation under the new owner.

United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER

"The United Aviate Academy will give the airline more visibility and direction over the recruitment, development and training of future pilots, enabling United to increase the percentage of women and minorities who become pilots," United said in a statement. The airline will facilitate financing for its academy`s students. (2020/02/06, Image: Boeing)

JetBlue Airways looking for pilot talent

NEW YORK - JetBlue Airways is closing in on 2019 admissions to its flight training program "Gateway Select" - the fast track to a cockpit job with the airline.


JetBlue Airways became the first major American airline to venture into ab initio pilot training in 2017 with its "Gateway Select" courses. After completing initial flight training and an "airline preparation course", students will work at CAE flight training as instructors to collect 1,500 flight hours - an FAA requirement for all airline pilots - before joining JetBlue Airways as First Officers.

"Gateway Select" tuition is 110,000 US Dollars. Yet, JetBlue Airways provides financing through Wells Fargo and US Credit.

The 2019 application window closes September 20th.
Admission to the program is subject to a successful participation in an online and on-site assessment process. The 3,5 year "Gateway Select" program is open to applicants who are eligable to work in the US and will be at least 23 years of age upon completion. (2019/09/10, Image: JetBlue)

Meet SkyTest and SkyJobs at Be a pilot Screening Day 2019

Be-a-pilotAir traffic growth stimulates pilot demand among airlines. While airline-mentored ab initio programs return to the flight training market, independent flight schools offer alternative and attractive paths into the industry.

SkyTest will co-host Be a pilot Screening Day 2019 in Frankfurt/M, Germany - a one-day venue with an FTO exhibition site and expert presentations on the current flight training landscape.

Date: Oct. 12th 2019, 10.00 - 17.00
Place: The Squaire, Frankfurt Airport, Germany
Website: (German)

Ryanair taps flight training market to attract new pilots

LODZ - Ryanair ventures into ab initio pilot training. Polish FTO Bartolini Air will train up to 300 cadets on behalf of Ryanair over the course of the next four years.


Ryanair adds ab initio flight training to its pilot training and supply strategy. Bartolini Air won a Ryanair mandate to train cadets at its Lodz facilities for the airline. According to a Ryanair statement the "Air Mentored Pilot Training" programme will process 300 future pilots through 18 months of "intensive" flight training, a Boeing 737 type-rating and Ryanair cockpit job.



"Being recognized by Europe’s leading airline is a milestone for Bartolini Air. It undoubtedly proves the quality of our training and the high level of skills of our cadets," said Bartolini Air CEO Izabela Konopinska. The FTO will start accepting applications in the next few weeks.


Like all European airlines Ryanair faces a hiring bottleneck caused by an industry-wide pilot shortage. Ryanair expects to hire up to 1,000 new pilots every year until 2024 to support fleet and network growth plans. (2019/07/22, Image: Ryanair)



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