One world

Future Pilot - The journey ahead

The programme

We’ve approved three world-class Flight Training Organisations (FTOs) to provide training for the Future Pilot Programme so that your career can have the best possible start. When you apply for the programme you’ll have to state your preferred choice; it’s very important that you take the time to familiarise yourself with each FTO, as each FTO has different locations for ground school and flying training, and and select the one you would wish to train at.

Also, you will need to consider how you are going to fund your training. Please read the finance ( section for information on finance options available for the scheme.

The programme then involves British Airways and the approved FTOs working together to find and select the most able aspiring pilots who will, if successful, be offered not only a sponsored place on an approved ab-initio training programme, but also a conditional offer of a contract of employment as a British Airways first officer.

What will follow will be a challenging course of British Airways-mentored training that will take you from little or no experience, to the first officer’s seat on our short haul aircraft currently the Airbus A320. 

Whichever FTO you choose, you can be sure that there’s a long journey ahead. Training on this programme will involve many hundreds of hours of ground school study, flying training, jet orientation on a modern flight simulator and finally a type rating at the British Airways Flight Training centre.

While all the courses are equally intense, there are some important differences. To find out more about each FTO please visit the dedicated pages on their websites:

The Application Process
When you have submitted your application, the FTO of your choice will screen your submission. Those who pass the initial screening process will be asked to attend a selection day organised by the FTO.

The Selection Centre
Your FTO will send you details of the date and time of the selection centre. Here you will undergo a series of tests, as well as a group exercise and interview, to assess your ability to complete the arduous training course ahead.

British Airways Recruitment Centre
If you are successful at the FTO selection centre then you will be invited to the next stage, which is a further testing day at the British Airways Recruitment Centre, Waterside, near London Heathrow Airport.
If you are successful at BA testing, you will then be invited back, on another day, to Waterside for the final selection centre. Here you’ll have a chance to meet and be interviewed by British Airways pilots, and be further assessed for your suitability to join the programme.

After all the events and selection processes are complete, British Airways will contact everyone who attended the final selection centre, and let them know the outcome. Successful candidates will be given a huge “Congratulations!” and a conditional offer of a contract of employment as a first officer with British Airways.