Submitting an application for this Programme is not a decision to be undertaken lightly and we would expect and urge you to thoroughly research the Programme, including your choice of FTO and financial options, prior to submitting your application.
Honesty and Integrity
British Airways places high importance on honesty and integrity within its recruitment processes. Whilst we appreciate you may want to discuss your application with friends and family please do not share the details of your application and any subsequent assessments with others, especially those applying for the Programme.
Sharing details may compromise the fairness and integrity of the entire selection process. Furthermore, it could advantage other applicants and potentially disadvantage you. It may even disqualify you from the selection process.
FAQs – General
For the opportunity to apply for future vacancies please keep an eye on this site.
We hope that this website will answer many of your questions about this exciting flagship programme. If you have a query that is not addressed here, then you may find the information you are looking for on the websites of the Flight Training Organisations (FTOs) delivering the flight training for the Future Pilot Programme.
FAQs – Selection
Please refer to the ‘About You’ section of this website for full details on the entry qualifications for the programme.
If you have completed, or are planning to complete, any JAR-FCL Airline Transport Pilot ground school examinations (or EASA equivalents) then you should note that in order to be accepted onto the Future Pilot Programme you must not have already sat any of these exams at the point of commencing training under this programme.
Furthermore, we would be delighted to accept applications from current or former UK Service Pilots so long as applicants from this stream have not yet commenced flying training at an Operational Conversion Unit (OCU).
You can only make three applications to the Programme so if you have been unsuccessful 3 times, and so this would be your fourth application, then you cannot reapply this time.
No. You must decide at which of the three FTOs you would like to undertake your training before you commence your application. We therefore recommend that you visit the websites of all three approved FTOs and study their offerings carefully. For clarity, if you are not successful in the selection process at your selected FTO, it will not be possible to apply to either of the other two FTOs in this application window.
No. There is no bias or preference by British Airways in respect of each applicant’s preferred training location.
No. The application process and timescale/actual dates of selection activities may vary depending on which FTO you have applied to, therefore see individual FTO websites for further information.
Each FTO knows what it takes to be a successful cadet pilot at their school; it goes without saying that the standard is high. At British Airways we are looking for the same motivation, talent and qualities in our future pilots irrespective of the FTO you have applied to.
The selection process is formed of several stages. Initially all candidates must apply through the British Airways online application system. Applications will then be screened and successful candidates will be invited to attend a selection centre organised by their selected FTO. Full details about the location and content of these selection centres will be communicated to invited candidates.
Candidates that are successful through the FTO selection process will be invited to attend the British Airways recruitment centre near London Heathrow Airport for a further one-day testing selection centre. If you are successful at this stage you will be invited for a final interview held at our head office Waterside.
Should you be successful through the online application process you will be invited to attend an FTO Selection Centre. The FTO assessment day varies depending on the FTO you have applied to but they will be looking to assess your motivation, talent and behaviours that are important for both British Airways and your chosen FTO. They are all selecting to a high standard, so be prepared for a tough and challenging yet enjoyable day. Please see the FTO websites for more details.
Should you be successful at the FTO Selection Centre you will be invited to attend the BA Recruitment Centre where you will be asked to undertake a further series of tests to assess your suitability to join the Future Pilot Programme.
If you are successful after BA testing, you will be invited to an interview with a current BA pilot and have an opportunity to hear more about the Programme and ask questions.
Details of what to expect will be given to those invited to attend nearer the time. Both days should prove exciting and challenging – we are looking for the best.
We are looking for people who eventually will role model BA uniform standards. Therefore we would expect candidates to attend wearing appropriate business dress (i.e no trainers or jeans).
We advise all candidates of the final results on a set day which will be discussed at the final interview stage. Those invited to join the programme will be offered a place, subject to completion of a number of processes including: issuing or production of a Class 1 medical, Pre-Employment Vetting (PEV), criminal record and reference checking, signing of agreements etc.
In short, fully and truthfully. Complete the form somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. There are several sections in the application form including:
If you have been cautioned, warned or convicted of a criminal offence (other than parking offences) we suggest you check whether you will be able to obtain an airside pass by visiting www.dft.gov.uk.
In order to be employed as a pilot with British Airways you will be required to undergo a Criminal Record Check for every country in which you have been a resident, or worked in, for 6 months or more in the past 3 years. Please note there is a cost for obtaining these checks, which candidates are required to meet themselves if they successfully complete all the stages of the Future Pilot Programme selection process.
You will be given full details of what you need to bring with you should you be invited.
There is no fee for starting an application, however each FTO will ask for a contribution towards the costs of selection, which will be payable to the FTO, should you be invited forward to attend one of their selection centres (please note that each FTO’s selection processes and locations are different and you should check when and where they will be held to ensure that you will be able to attend. All travel costs incurred must be met by the candidate). The selection fee for each of the FTOs is detailed on their own website.
Given the nature of this scheme, we expect that there will be huge demand from like-minded, aspiring pilots. The chances of being successful therefore depend on how well you prepare for the selection centres and how well you can demonstrate that you are the kind of person British Airways is looking for.
If you are unsuccessful through the selection process you may still decide to undertake some or all the flight training required to train as a pilot. Any of the three FTOs will be able to give you help and guidance concerning what kind of flight training and courses they could offer you outside of the Future Pilot Programme.
To enter training, a cadet pilot on the Future Pilot Programme must hold a valid EASA Class 1 medical certificate. In the UK these are issued at the Civil Aviation Authority’s medical centre near London Gatwick Airport. This initial medical examination and validation starts the beginning of a career long process of medical assessments that all pilots must complete.
Before applying for the Future Pilot Programme, we require all prospective candidates to study, in detail, the requirements of the EASA Class 1 initial medical validation process, which can be found on the CAA’s website here: CAA Medical Information.
If, upon reading this information, you are unclear about any of the requirements or doubt your ability to obtain and continue to hold an EASA Class 1 medical, we strongly recommend that you discuss the requirements with your GP.
There is a cost for undergoing this initial medical examination and candidates are required to meet this cost themselves. Therefore candidates who do not currently hold an EASA Class 1 medical certificate are not required to attend the CAA and have a medical issued until after they successfully complete all the stages of the Future Pilot Programme selection process.
If you are unable to obtain an EASA Class 1 medical then we will regretfully be unable to process your application through the Future Pilot Programme.
The wearing of glasses and/or contact lenses does not automatically prevent an applicant from obtaining an EASA Class 1 medical certificate. Full details of the eyesight requirements are also available on the CAA’s website.
Candidates with qualifications from Scotland require the same GCSE-level subjects and grades, but at Standard Grade. The A-Level requirement can be substituted with either 4 Highers at Grades BBBB or 3 Advanced Highers/Certificates of Sixth year Studies at BCC. A table of equivalency is available for these and other exams in the About You section.
Tattoos should not be visible whilst in uniform, including the forearm, and neckline. Please note, a tattoo check will be carried out at selection stage to ensure ability to comply with uniform standards.
FAQs – The Training programme
Candidates who are successful through the entire Future Pilot Programme selection process will be sponsored through training, with training being delivered by the FTO selected at the beginning of the application process.
As there are three FTOs involved in the Future Pilot Programme, the courses’ structures, and hence their lengths, are slightly different. In all cases you will go through an intensive and challenging training process that involves classroom-based ground school instruction, flying training and finally jet simulator training. For further details on the exact structure, detail and length of the courses delivered by each FTO, please refer to the FTO websites.
The courses are likely to run over a 12 month period, with the first course expected to start in Autumn 2015 and the last course expected to start in Autumn 2016.
British Airways has appointed a specialist airline recruitment company for the Future Pilot Programme, Airline Placement Limited (APL), a subsidiary of CTC Aviation. APL will be sponsoring each cadet pilot’s training through one of three FTOs that have been specifically approved to provide training for the Future Pilot Programme. The courses provided by all three FTOs offer world-class training at modern facilities around the world. The courses are all intensive, integrated programmes, and will challenge even the most able of candidates. More details of the finances associated with the sponsorship process can be found in the ‘Finance’ section of this website, and on the FTO websites.
No. While some flying experience would be valuable, you do not need to have had any experience before you apply to the Future Pilot Programme.
However, you must not hold a Commercial Pilot’s Licence or higher, or have commenced an integrated course of flight training, if you wish to apply for the programme.
Military pilots can also apply, if they meet the FPP criteria, but must have not yet commenced flying training at an Operational Conversion unit (OCU).
No. All cadet pilots on the Future Pilot Programme will complete the full course of training as offered by the selected FTO, and no reductions in flying syllabi etc are available.
Each training course in the Future Pilot Programme leads to the issuing of a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (Aircraft) with Multi-Engine Instrument Rating. Theoretical knowledge (ground school) is examined to Air Transport Pilot Licence standard and so your licence will be issued with ‘Frozen ATPL theory credit’. This combination is colloquially known as a ‘Frozen ATPL’.
The courses offered by the three FTOs involved in the Future Pilot Programme are different. Please refer to the relevant FTO website for details about course lengths and locations.
This will depend upon the course structure and delivery methods in use at the different FTOs who are involved in the Future Pilot Programme. Please check their websites for more information.
This is a full-time course only.
Training will take place on a range of aircraft depending on the FTO, and each FTO’s website details their aircraft fleet. Jet Orientation Courses will be conducted at your chosen FTO, where you will complete your basic flight training on either a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 simulator. Type rating training will be delivered on the aircraft type (currently the Airbus A320) that you will operate as a first officer for British Airways.
These differ between the FTOs involved in the Future Pilot Programme. Please refer to the specific FTO websites for more information.
Collectively we have put a great deal of effort into designing an intensive and comprehensive selection process that we believe will do the best possible job in selecting the right cadet pilots for the Future Pilot Programme. We therefore believe the risk of failure during training, through an inability to attain the standard required, is low.
Airline Placement Limited, the recruitment company that will be sponsoring the cadet pilots through the Future Pilot Programme, is very experienced in the management of cadet training. They have a wealth of expertise in this field and will work collaboratively with British Airways, the FTO and the cadet pilot should it be felt that a cadet pilot is not achieving the high standards required of the Future Pilot Programme. If further additional training does not lead to a cadet pilot reaching the required Future Pilot Programme standard then there may be several options available, ranging from continuing training but outside of the Future Pilot Programme, to ceasing training altogether.
If training is ceased altogether, a cadet pilot may be eligible for a partial refund of their security bond as described in the sponsorship agreement. Any refund will be in accordance with the relevant FTO’s failure protection policy, as may be identified on their individual websites. Please refer to the individual FTOs for precise information about their failure protection policy.
Please rest assured that the best interests of the cadet pilot would be at the heart of any decisions made during the rare, but difficult, time that training may be ceased. APL will make further information on the topic of failure and failure protection available to candidates who are successful through the Future Pilot Programme selection process and selected for sponsorship.
The Future Pilot Programme involves completing all flight and simulator training, up to and including the type rating licence skills test (LST), as a cadet pilot and during that time the cadet pilot is not an employee of British Airways, APL or the FTO, and no salary is earned.
If a cadet pilot successfully completes all training to the required standards, and pilot vacancies at British Airways exist at that time, they will be offered an unconditional offer of employment as a first officer. From that point on the cadet pilot will become a permanent employee of British Airways Plc.
The year 1 basic salary for a Future Pilot Programme first officer is £23,220, with a further £8-£10,000 of flying allowances typically being earned in a full year of flying (please note that these allowances are not guaranteed and are subject to levels and type of flying completed). Remember that as well as pay and allowances, British Airways will pay you back your security bond, tax–free, at the rate of £12,000 per year for the first seven years of your employment as a pilot.
We are launching the Future Pilot Programme because we foresee demand in our business plans for a number of cadet pilots in the years to come. That said, we, like many companies, are vulnerable to world and economic events that could cause our recruitment plans to change.
Should this happen and we find there are likely to be delays in employing cadet pilots upon their completion of training we will contact those affected and keep them fully up to date with the situation and our plans.
If you are successful through the FPP selection process then APL will arrange for your pilot training to be conducted at your chosen FTO. APL will be responsible for allocating your start date, and while there is generally little room for amending start dates they may be able to accommodate a request to start after a given date if there are genuine and serious reasons for doing so (such as finishing a degree course, or completing a contractual employment obligation). However, this cannot be guaranteed and if you are not able to take up the place that they finally offer then you will have to withdraw from the programme. In no cases will they be able to defer you to subsequent annual intakes of the programme.
FAQs – Finance
APL will pay for the cost of your training, regardless of which FTO you choose. However, due to the significant training investment made by APL in sponsoring a cadet pilot, a cash security bond of £84,000 will be required to be deposited with them in a series of instalments over the period of flight training.
In addition, your chosen FTO will require an additional fee payable directly to them for certain items not covered by the APL sponsorship agreement. Please see each FTO’s website for further information on the amount of this additional fee.
You will also need to make an allowance for general subsistence costs during the period of training and any other costs that you may incur during that time.
Upon employment with British Airways your security bond will be transferred from APL to the airline and you will, so long as you maintain your employment commitments, benefit from a contracted commitment from the company to repay the security bond to you over 84 monthly instalments.
British Airways recognises that the ability of an aspiring pilot to raise the money required for the security bond and other costs will vary. We have therefore made arrangements with a bank that will offer prospective cadet pilots who satisfy the bank’s credit checks, a loan of up to £100,000 to cover the funds required should this financial assistance be needed. This loan can be guaranteed by British Airways if required.
It is not a requirement that cadet pilots make use of this loan facility. It will be entirely your choice as to how you obtain the necessary funding. The signing of any loan agreement is the responsibility of the individual cadet pilot. Any financial arrangement must be thoroughly thought through and none of British Airways, APL, our partner bank or the FTO you wish to train at, can nor will offer anything that could or should be construed as financial advice.
The bank involved in the Future Pilot Programme is BBVA – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., London Branch – a major global financial institution with years of specific expertise in this field.
Full contact and loan product details will be given to all successful applicants who are offered a place on the Future Pilot Programme. Please do not approach the bank until you know whether you have been successful through the entire selection process.
This will be a matter of negotiation between yourself and any lending institution you choose to use. If, however, you request and are offered a British Airways guaranteed loan through BBVA, then there is a 24 month payment holiday window available.
No. The sponsorship agreement between you and APL will include a schedule detailing the timing of security bond deposits that needs to be adhered to.
The payment due directly to the FTO will normally be required no later than one month prior to the commencement of the training course. Please enquire with the relevant FTO if you have more questions about this payment.
Whether you provide the funding requirements through bank finance or another source, you will be liable for the payment of the security bond to APL, any other payments that are specified by the chosen FTO and any other costs that you incur while on the programme.
No matter the source of funding, on employment as a cadet pilot with British Airways the same security bond repayments as described earlier would apply.
This would result in a termination of the sponsorship agreement between you and APL and you would forfeit the security bond paid up to that time. You may also be exposed to additional costs and you should also consider that a lending bank would likely decide to pursue you for repayment of any loan that you have taken out in the event of non-payment of the loan.
If you borrow money, you alone are liable to repay the capital as well as the interest that will accrue. You must be satisfied that you can maintain the payment required by your loan agreement.
Whilst that depends on the terms you have agreed with a bank, some bank facilities allow you to pay off a loan early, subject to agreed terms and conditions. However, even if you do this, the security bond repayments from British Airways will remain the same, and on the same schedule.
BBVA will not apply any early repayment penalty.
To find out exactly what is included in each FTO’s training course, please refer to the FTO websites. You will also need to factor in some expenditure for general living and entertainment costs, as well as to cover any required items not included in your training course.
BBVA will not allow any further advances or increases in your loan. You should therefore budget carefully and ensure that you do not spend more than you originally provisioned for.
Yes, there is a maximum amount that can be borrowed from BBVA under the BA Guarantee Scheme, and you can use some of this loan to fund your living expenses while on the programme if you wish.
Depending on which FTO you would like to train at, and your method of financing your security bond, you may have to take out up to three insurance products in order to start your training under the FPP. In all cases cadets must take out a ‘Loss of Training Expenses’ policy, which will cost in the region of £600. This is a mandatory requirement for all participants in the programme. You may also have to take out Travel Insurance to cover any time overseas, and if taking out a bank loan (and this is a mandatory requirement for a BA guaranteed loan) a Term Life Assurance policy. In each case there are multiple suppliers of suitable financial products, and it will be up to you to determine which products you wish to take out. None of British Airways, Airline Placement Limited or BBVA are authorised to provide financial advice, and we therefore will not suggest a course of action for you with regard to these insurance products.