Aer Lingus is re-opening its pilot recruitment drive spanning the next five years. The airline is offering 90 aspiring pilots the opportunity to realise their ambitions and become a pilot of tomorrow for the airline.
This is the first time since 2019 that the company is running its intensive pilot training programme and will recruit 18 candidates in this year’s round. Aer Lingus will begin accepting online applications from now until 16th August 2023. The course is fully sponsored by the airline.
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. Following a period of 14 months of study in Jerez, the students will 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.
On qualifying, they will receive a Multi-crew Pilot’s Commercial Licence, leading them to become a First Officer and ultimately a Captain for short and long-haul routes.
Marking the return of the pilot recruitment initiative, Aer Lingus Chief Executive, Lynne Embleton said: “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. 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 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.”
Aer Lingus continues to invest in modernising its fleet, which boasts the Airbus A320neo aircraft, operating short-haul routes, along with the A321neo LR, which operates the airline’s North American routes. The A321neo LR aircraft accounts for over a third of Aer Lingus’ current long-haul fleet and from 2024/2025 the fleet will be boosted further with the planned delivery of six Airbus A321XLRs (extra-long range). Designed to travel even further than the A321neo LR, adding this aircraft to the fleet will open up further opportunities to expand Aer Lingus’ transatlantic network, delivering new routes and opportunities for the airline’s flight operations teams.
Aer Lingus’s Chief Instructor, Captain Karl O’Neill, is looking to attract people to Aer Lingus who are highly motivated and passionate about aviation: “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. Successful candidates will go through one of the most thorough and high-standard training courses in the world with mentoring, guidance, and support throughout,” Captain O’Neill said.
Aer Lingus 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% female pilots is industry-leading, the airline acknowledges the need to surpass this representation. In the last recruitment round, only 7% of applicants were female, a statistic it is determined to significantly improve upon. Its focus remains on promoting a fair and merit-based approach, valuing individual abilities and skills, while actively encouraging and empowering females to apply and pursue careers as pilots.