Career News

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)



Turkish Airlines to accept cadets up to 30

ISTANBUL - Turkish Airlines still has some spots to fill in its 2019 ab initio flight training programme. While some restrictions apply, the airline will accept applications from potential cadets up to the age of 30 years.

Turkish Airlines is looking for future First Officers. The airline invites Turkish citizen or blue card holders with certain qualifications to apply for flight school enrollment by August 30th 2019. Admission is subject to a successful participation in an evaluation process that includes an English test, health check, CRM test, job interview and an DLR pilot aptitude screening.

We recommend SkyTest® Preparation Software for DLR 1 Screening to prepare for the aptitude tests - discounts are available on request. (2019/06/19, Image: Turkish Airlines)

Turkish Airlines

WDL Aviation and LGW consolidate pilot recruitment

HAMBURG - German wet-lease operators WDL Aviation and LGW consolidate their pilot recruitment and screening process with Interpersonal.


Zeitfracht completed the acquisition of LGW from Lufthansa Group (Eurowings) in April 2019. Along with WDL Aviation the Berlin-based logistics company now operates two airlines with a mixed wet-lease fleet of Embraer E190, BAe 146 and Bombardier DHC8 aircraft.




Current Zeitfracht pilot vacancies include Captain and First Officer assignments within the Embraer and BAe fleets at the Cologne base of WDL Aviation and First Officer assignments within the LGW Dash 8 fleets based in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. Pre-hiring screenings for both Zeitfracht airlines are arranged by Interpersonal in Hamburg.


We recommend SkyTest® Preparation Software for IP-BQ (Basic Qualification) to prep for the aptitude tests of the multi-stage screening process. (2019/05/02, Image: Eurowings)



AirAsia still looking for 2019 student pilots

KUALA LUMPUR - AirAsia easily makes it into the list of the most successful airline ventures in Asia. The airline still accepts applications for its 2019 ab initio pilot training scheme.


"You can have all the money you want in the world, and you can have all the brilliant ideas - but if you do not have the people, forget it," says AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes. To support continued fleet and schedule growth at Asia`s largest low-cost airline, AirAsia trains student pilots in its own MPL programme to fly Airbus A320s later on.

The 2019 course still has some spots left to fill. Applicants need to have Malaysian citizenship, be between 18 and 28 years of age and must fit certain health requirements. More information about joining AirAsia and the screening process is available here. (2019/03/20)


Airbus to provide ab initio training in Europe

TOULOUSE - Airbus develops its Cassidian Aviation Training Services arm into a flight school. A new ab initio programme will accomodate up to 200 flight students per year in Airbus-centric courses.

"In order to meet the high market demand for cadet pilot training in Europe - 94,000 new pilots over the next 20 years . Airbus has decided to open its own flight academy and extend its training services offering by adding ab-initio to its portfolio," the manufactures said in a statement.

Leveraging cross-divisional synergies, the "Airbus Flight Academy Europe", based in Angoulême, France, will use Airbus standardised instructors to deliver the ab-initio Pilot Cadet Training programme approved by EASA at the end of 2018, complementing the intermediate and advanced training phases that are already available and provided in the existing training network on 17 sites worldwide.


The Airbus Flight Academy Europe aims to train up-to 200 pilot cadets annually. Using a modern fleet of both single and multi-engine aircraft equipped with full digital cockpit technology as well as the latest flight simulators, the training programme will equip students with the skills and mind-set required to become “operationally-ready pilots" focusing on the all-important development of key pilot technical and behavioral competencies.

The Airbus Pilot Cadet Training Programme is open to high school graduates over 18 years old worldwide. Candidates will undergo online and on-site screening tests before being eligible for training which will include 750 hours of ground school, plus 200 hours of flight training. (2019/02/28)

Lufthansa to expand EFA beyond 500 students

GOODYEAR - Lufthansa will admit 500 flight students into its 2019 ab initio courses. The airline hopes to attract more female cadets.

European Flight Academy (EFA) - the flight training arm of Lufthansa Group - enrolled 450 new students in 2018. "We are looking to surpass last year`s record with 500 flight students in 2019," an EFA spokesperson said. Along with a growing pilot demand at all Lufthansa group airlines EFA may even "go beyond this number in the years to come".

One in seven EFA students is female. While EFA calls its 15 percent female cadet demographic "high" among industry peers it admits more need to be done "to increase this number and attract more girls and women to persue the pilot profession".

Lufthansa operates six pilot training centers in Germany, Switzerland and the US. Several of the 150 EFA instructors are active Lufthansa pilots. (2019/02/26)




Singapore Airlines starts 2019 ab initio recruitment

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines accepts flight student applications. The ab initio training scheme is the fast lane into a cockpit of Singapore Airlines or Silkair.

As airlines in Asia-Pacific face a pilot shortage, Singapore Airlines boosts its ab initio training. The 2019 application process comprises a preliminary interview, aptitude tests, a final interview and a medical check-up. Flight students admitted to Singapore Flying College will undergo flight training in Singapore and oversea facilities and graduate with either an ATPL or MPL.

Unlike other airlines, Singapore Airlines pays its flight students a monthly allowance to cover living expenses. Graduates will start their careers as First Officers with Singapore Airlines or Silkair. (2019/01/21, Image: Singapore Airlines)


Lufthansa: 450 flight students enrolled at EFA in 2018

ROSTOCK - Lufthansa resumed its ab initio pilot training program with a record of 450 cadets at its new European Flight Academy (EFA) flight school.

"Recruitment and training of new pilots for Lufthansa Group" cockpits was the focus in the first full year of the relaunch, said Ola Hansson, Head of Lufthansa Aviation Training. With 450 young women and men enrolling in Lufthansa MPL and ATPL courses in 2018, EFA still has room to grow - eventually, Lufthansa targets up to 650 cadets per year according to insiders.

Lufthansa effectively suspended its ab initio pilot training in 2014 and sent graduates of its former NFF program into a holding pattern over a clash with its pilot union. With a looming pilot shortage in Europe, Lufthansa reinstated its pilot courses in broad scale to support the recruitment needs of its group airlines - and invested in a new training fleet.


30 Cirrus SR20 and Diamond DA-42 replaced the F33 Bonanza and Piper PA44 training fleets at the EFA Goodyear (Arizona, United States) and Rostock (Germany) facilities.

Lufthansa offers financing plans to cover 100,000 EUR in tuition fees. Vienna based group member Austrian Airlines even returned to a co-sponsored plan to attract new pilots into its cockpits.

We recommend SkyTest® Preparation Software for DLR 1 Screening (BU/GU) and SkyTest® Preparation Software for IP-BQ (Basic Qualification) to prep for 2019 EFA admission screenings. (2018/12/19, Image: Lufthansa)

Airbus ventures into ab initio pilot training

TOULOUSE - Airbus and the French Civil Aviation University, ENAC, have obtained EASA certification for a co-developed ab initio Pilot Cadet Training Programme that will be used by a worldwide network of partner flight schools, starting with the first customer Escuela de Aviacion Mexico (EAM) in Mexico city early 2019.

Airbus tackles a looming pilot shortage with a flight training initivative. "Pilot Cadets worldwide will now be able to benefit from a complete and fully integrated Airline Transport Pilot Licence programme built upon Airbus’ high safety and reliability standards and extensive experience in pilot training," Airbus said in a statement.

The Airbus Pilot Cadet Training Programme aims to equip cadets with the skills and mind-set required to become an "operationally-ready pilot" focusing on the all-important development of key pilot technical and behavioural competencies.

"The programme reflects, not only Airbus’ commitment to supporting the safe operation of all its aircraft, but also supports airline customers in contributing to the long-term availability of qualified pilots, helping to meet the growing demand forecast for more than 500,000 pilots over the next 20 years," according to Airbus.

The programme will be open to young people over 18 years old who have graduated from high school. Candidates will undergo online and on-site screening tests before being eligible for training, which will include 750 hours of ground school, plus 200 hours of flight training. (2018/12/06)



Air Dolomiti to launch cadet programme with EFA

VERONA - Air Dolomiti is cleared for growth. The Italian arm of Lufthansa will double its fleet by 2023 and starts a cadet training programme to support its pilot demand.

As Alitalia and Lufthansa seem unlikely to strike a deal, Lufthansa decided to bolster its own group presence in Italy. Air Dolomiti will source 15 Embraer E195 120 seater aircraft from Lufthansa Cityline and grow its fleet from 12 to 26 aircraft between 2019 and 2023. A separate flight school programme flanks the fleet expansion strategy.

Air Dolomiti

"In particular, for flying personnel, a cutting-edge programme is planned which has never before been done in Italy: the conception of an Air Dolomiti Flying Academy, thanks to which, new pilots will be trained, in cooperation with Lufthansa Aviation Training and the European Flight Academy - EFA," Air Dolomiti said.

Air Dolomiti will finance it in part, offering scholarships to allow the cadets to take on a training curriculum. "An agreement is in the conclusive stages with a major banking institute in order to provide assistance to the aspiring pilots", according to Air Dolomiti.

Admission is subject to passing an initial screening with specific tests such as the DLR in Hamburg, Germany in English and psychological and behavioural tests to then continue preparation in compliance with the Lufthansa Group standards. (2018/10/24, Image: Air Dolomiti)

More female pilots: Austrian unveils 2019 recruitment targets

VIENNA - Austrian Airlines ramps up its 2019 pilot recruitment. The Austrian Lufthansa Group airline is in the market for 100 ready entry pilots and will admit nearly the same number of cadets to its 2019 flight training programme. The offerings target women in particular.

"Four so-called ab initio courses will be offered in 2019, each with 24 training positions for interested candidates without previous flight experience," Austrian said in a statement.

Admission requirements include EU citizenship, a secondary school leaving certificate, a secondary school vocational certificate, or the subject-related university entrance qualification of the country of origin.

Austrian wants to attract more women for its cockpits in the 2019 hiring spree. "Over the last three years, the percentage of female pilots at Austrian Airlines has risen from three percent in 2015 to the current level of five percent," Austrian said. "This is a positive development. However, it also demonstrates that women are still strongly underrepresented in this profession." (2018/10/19)

Pilots in high demand

FRANKFURT - Amid a vibrant aviation market airlines brace for one of their greatest concerns: pilot shortage. The industry needs to attract 600,000+ new pilots by 2035 to support a projected 100 percent growth of global air traffic.

Pilots are in high demand already - currently lists more than 500 pilot vacancies. Several airline majors - Lufthansa, Emirates, Qantas, American and Jetblue Airways to mention just a few - either revived to launched ab initio pilot training programmes. Yet, ATPL training at an independent flight school remains an attractive option in the current market environment.

The flight school expo Be a pilot Screening Day 2018 will gather flight schools, flight training experts and prospective flight students Oct. 20th in Frankfurt. and SkyTest will co-host the venue that addresses all aspects of pilot ab inito training:

  • how do I pick my flight school?
  • what are my financing options?
  • what medical aspects do I need to consider?
  • how do I land a job with an airline?


Condor A320 Captain Moritz Schmiede will give a presentation on the Condor ab initio programme CAP in Frankfurt. Meet major flight schools on-site and take a free SkyTest pilot aptitude screening - Be a pilot Screening Day 2018 is open at The Squaire, Frankfurt Airport, Oct. 20th 10.00am - 5.00pm. Admission is 8.00 EUR in advance ticket purchase and 12.00 EUR on-site. (2018/10/02)

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)

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