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UK Job Opportunities

Old 21st Jul 2021, 17:54
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UK Job Opportunities

Hi all. I am about to start training and am deciding what license to go for.
For context - I am a UK citizen and only have the right to work in UK, but if able I would love to move to Europe.
In the post covid aviation world when I finish my training it is unlikely I will get employed in Europe let alone get a visa to work in Europe. So I guess this dream will have to be put on the back burner for now. Realistically my first job is likely to be in the UK.
Does anyone know what UK based airlines recruit low hour pilots and are likely to be recruiting in 2 years time?
I heard British Airways don't hire low hour pilots unless they are desperate which they won't be. Can anyone confirm this? So that limits me to EasyJet UK, WizzAir UK, Jet2, TUI, the budget airlines that higher low cost pilots. Anyone know of any others?
Ryanair could be an option, I heard they like to higher UK pilots and base them in Europe. That may be a problem now, but how realistic would it be to obtain an EASA license and get a job with Ryanair in the UK with the option of moving abroad with an EU airline when more jobs become available?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 19:17
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Surely the answers you got in other threads have made all this clear by now?
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 21:02
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First thing I suggest is consider the method you are looking to train. For example, integrated course with normally silly upfront costs ranging beyond the 100k mark at times is not recommend in the current climate. However modular methods where the cost is generally half (subject to your perf) is the better route at this time. In fact, I’d say it’s the better route financially and the most sensible route at anytime.

Anyway, since you mentioned Ryanair, their cadet scheme isn’t really worth the money. I’ve read it’s £30k upfront for class rating and base training, nothing else which would include accommodation and travel costs for a mere £16k salary (someone please correct me if this is a rumour). There is a thread already on this where the “2K” pilots are both existing cadets and talent pool.

The airlines aren’t exactly back to normal, and it doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon so just know that there are other flying careers on different aircraft, like turbo-props and flight instructor on SEP/MEPs for example that a lot of people still go for.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 19:26
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Does anyone know what UK based airlines recruit low hour pilots and are likely to be recruiting in 2 years time?
Firstly, well done for asking the question, although the answers may depress you…

Considering the UK market specifically, there are two important points to make:
(1) The pilot job market is highly cyclical – massively so in fact.
(2) In the UK, the market is driven in large part by British Airways.

Taking the first point, roughly once every decade, there will be a seismic shock that triggers a big downturn in aviation. Specifically: 1990 (Gulf War 1), 2001 (9/11 terrorist attacks), 2008 (the global financial crash), and now COVID in 2020. Fewer people fly, airlines stop expansion and recruitment, struggling carriers go bust and dump hundreds of experienced pilots onto the job market. Prospects for newly qualified pilots are bleak.

Over a period of several years, the market gradually recovers. Slowly at first, with jobs few and far between, then more strongly, until eventually recruitment is so healthy that people are qualifying and going straight from school to airline, and pilots in their first jobs with just 500 hours are suddenly regarded as experienced and start moving up the ladder. Then there’s another ‘event’, and the cycle repeats.

The key point is, it took years to recover from each of the previous downturns – none of which were anything like as severe as COVID.

Regarding the second point, BA prior to COVID had around 4,500 pilots. When they recruit, they tend to recruit big, and will hoover up pilots from other airlines. In general broad-brush terms, if BA are recruiting, everyone else will be. If BA are not recruiting, the job market will be pretty slow.

Nobody knows how long it will take to recover from the current pandemic, but consider this: I was very fortunate to land my first airline job in 2008, just before the financial crash hit. I kept my job, but there was next to no movement in the UK job market for years afterwards. We had cadets in the training system at the time who ended up working as cabin crew for several years. Even 5 years later, the lack of UK jobs meant that many of us finished up out in hot and sandy places, as it was the only way to move on.

And when did BA – who power the UK job market – start to recruit in significant numbers? 2014/15. That’s at least 6 years on from the original downturn.

Bear in mind also that COVID is on a different scale to any previous contraction. Not since WW2 has there been such a severe and prolonged hiatus in civil aviation. BA, who had never previously made a pilot redundant, subjected several hundred to compulsory redundancy last year. Flybe, Thomas Cook and Stobart have all ceased trading. And those hundreds of experienced pilots can’t just up sticks and go to the Middle East – even if they were prepared to – because the market out there is just as bad.

So if it took 6 years before we had significant recruitment last time round (let’s be generous and call it 5 years) how long do you think it will take this time?

I’m sorry if it’s not what you wanted to hear, but based on my experience I think the chances of any UK airlines recruiting low hours pilots in 2 years time - in meaningful numbers – are close to zero. If I had a son or daughter with their heart set on being a commercial pilot, I would be strongly advising them to get a PPL and sit out the next few years in an industry – any industry – where there is a genuine demand for new recruits. There certainly isn’t in aviation – whatever fantasies the training schools peddle.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 20:56
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The above post should be made into a sticky. Please listen to these wise words.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 03:53
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How old are you? My advice is, save your money or even better don't borrow any money. Choose a different profession for the time being. I'm currently flying A320s in Asia, I'm telling you, there are literally thousands of very experienced pilots looking for work right now and I personally know of a few who are currently jobless. Don't listen to what L3 or Oxford are telling you, they are in the business of taking your money - nothing more.

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Old 27th Jul 2021, 09:23
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Titan recently put out an ad for a handful of airbus pilots at STN, I'm told they closed the process very quickly having received 5000 applications. The job market is broken for a long long time. As someone made redundant from long haul recently and approaching my twilight years I am investigating doing a little bit of flying instruction part time just to tick over and have no expectations of a return any time soon to commercial flying.
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 12:40
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I’m afraid I would even hesitate to recommend the idea of getting an instructor certificate as a way of building hours for a new pilot. Last summer when the first lock down finished as a furloughed airline pilot with an instructor rating I walked straight into a part time instructing job as the clubs in the U.K. were crying out for instructors.

A year later there are plenty of new restricted FI’s looking for work and very few people moving on to any form of commercial flying. Best advice if you have the money for a CPL in the UK would be to get a PPL, night rating and IR(r) at the cheapest place you can find, and spend the next two years building hours, as much as it in IMC as you can to get ready for a CBIR, and work in any job you can. If you don’t have a job then spend 3k on a LGV licence, good money being offered for newly qualified drivers at the moment. Drive a truck and fly on your day off for a few years until you see where the job market is going. Or go to university and get a degree, but in something useful that you can work with and make a living, or become a
plumber/electrician.

Last edited by excrab; 27th Jul 2021 at 20:17.
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 13:52
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excrab is bang on. Do not enter this cesspit. It will only end in tears with a 100k debt over your head. It's not rocket surgery.
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 13:55
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It is certainly a by gone career. Gone are the days of prestige and riches. These days you just scrape by if you’re lucky enough to even be employed.
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 22:09
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G SXTY

Very accurate post. You were kind enough not to mention Brexit which beyond Covid will make British Pilots much less employable.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 15:59
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Thanks.

I reckon things are depressing enough already, without mentioning the ‘B’ word…
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