10 July 2023
British Airways is launching a Whitetail Recruitment Programme this Friday, 14 July 2023, with five approved training organisations (ATOs): Skyborne, L3Harris, Leading Edge Aviation, FTEJerez and CAE.
Trainee pilots who meet the eligibility requirements will be ‘tagged’ by BA as potential candidates suitable for a career with the airline. The announcement was made at last weekend’s Pilot Careers Live North event. BA said it was looking for 250 new pilots a year for 2023 and 2024 – 500 in total.
Eligibility for the Whitetail Recruitment Programme extends to any students enrolled in courses with the partnering ATOs, regardless of whether they’re pursuing modular or integrated training paths. To qualify, students must have completed their Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory exams.
Provided that students meet the stringent entry criteria laid out by British Airways, they will receive conditional job offers from the airline. This criteria includes an average of 85% on Ground School exams, no more than three exam retakes, only one allowed course re-enrolment, and a first series pass in Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Instrument Rating (IR).
Applicants must also be prepared to get an APS MCC certification and be training towards a UK CAA Part-FCL licence.
BA’s Jai Dillon also said that BA recognised that the Covid pandemic had interrupted many student pilots’ plans and that anyone who had completed their training after 1 January 2020 could also apply.
On successful completion of their training, the new cadets will be transferred to BA Euroflyer, where they will join the A320 fleet at Gatwick.
In another significant move, British Airways is also relaunching its Newly Qualified Pilot Pathway (NQPP), which is available to anyone who has completed either a modular or integrated course with training carried out at any ATO ≠ not just the five listed above – but no more than three training providers.
The application process and recruitment standard will be the same as for the Whitetail Programme. Selected candidates will join the BA Euroflyer A320 fleet.
Looking ahead to 2024, BA announced a managed pathway agreement with the British armed forces, requiring military pilots to have logged 1500 hours on any service aircraft and be within two years of their pension point. Successful candidates will be placed at either Heathrow or Gatwick, depending on the availability of training.
Meanwhile, amidst speculation, BA confirmed the airline is working on a cadet scheme. Details of this programme are yet to be announced. Aspiring candidates are encouraged to follow British Airways on social media and sign up for job advertisements to stay updated on future developments.