Aviation Business News

Aer Lingus set to recruit 90 pilots in next five years

Aer Lingus pilots
photo_camera Aer Lingus is striving to increase the number of female applicants to the Future Pilot Programme.

Aer Lingus is offering 90 aspiring pilots a unique opportunity to join the airline as it reopens its pilot recruitment drive spanning the next five years.

This is the first time since 2019 that the airline is running its intensive pilot training programme and will recruit 18 candidates in this year’s round.

Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus chief executive, said: “The Aer Lingus Future Pilot Programme opens a world of opportunity for the next generation of pilots who will join our airline.

“Aer Lingus’ transatlantic expansion and Dublin Hub growth strategy, means there are opportunities for new Aer Lingus trained pilots to join our team of Captains and First Officers who currently fly to over 80 European destinations, and to 14 North American destinations on our long-haul network.”

Aer Lingus states the course is fully sponsored by the airline and is accepting online applications up to August 16, 2023.

Embleton added: “Our continued focus on using Ireland’s unique geographic position to connect Europe to North America and vice versa presents immensely exciting careers for those who are passionate about being a pilot.

“We have a rich history at Aer Lingus of training pilots and our new Future Pilot Programme continues in that wonderful tradition, for which we are well known and respected.

Aer Lingus states it is dedicated to enhancing and embracing diversity in its selection process and is actively striving to increase the number of female applicants to the programme.

While the current figure of 11 per cent female pilots is industry-leading, the airline acknowledges the need to surpass this representation. In the last recruitment round, only seven per cent of applicants were female, a statistic it is determined to significantly improve upon.

Embleton continued: “We encourage everyone interested to consider our fully funded future pilot programme and we particularly encourage females to apply as we continue our efforts to close the gender gap in aviation.”

Beginning in January 2024, successful candidates will undergo a 14-month pilot training course combining theory and practical studies, in collaboration with the Spanish flight training school, FTE Jerez.

Students will then return to Aer Lingus’ Training Academy in Dublin to complete their training; they will be mentored and supported throughout by the Aer Lingus Liaison Pilot.

Captain Karl O’Neill, chief instructor at Aer Lingus, said: “Operating an aircraft requires specific skills and competencies. While pilots are required to be technically adept, many of the required competencies like decision-making, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication are readily transferred from other careers.

“We are seeking to attract future pilots with a wide breadth of qualifications from all backgrounds to reflect the rich diversity of our society and economy. We are looking for those with strong people skills, who are pragmatic and committed in their ambition to join our existing team of outstanding pilots.”

Aer Lingus pilots
Aer Lingus pilots, Caolan Flanagan, Lisa Cusack, Hosam Karim, Clodagh O’Farrell, and Cian O’Shaughnessy in Dublin Airport at the launch of Aer Lingus’ Future Pilot Programme.

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