If you’ve been thinking about starting your flight training, with the career goal to be a commercial pilot, now is an exceptionally good time to start. The UK is experiencing the same shortages of pilots as Europe is. The demand for commercial airline pilots is strong and continuing to grow.
With training in Europe so costly, many students are looking to the U.S. as a more economical place for flight training. It has been estimated that the cost of getting licenses in Europe is in excess of 105,000 USD (86,765 EUR or 60,000 GBP). Compare that to approximately 45,000 USD (37,187 EUR or 25,715 GBP) at Phoenix East Aviation, Daytona Beach, Florida, for example. A very cost-effective strategy is to train in the U.S. and receive your FAA certifications and ratings, followed by flight-instructing in the U.S. to build hours (Phoenix East Aviation is always happy to hire qualified graduates as flight instructors), and then returning to the UK or Europe and converting your FAA ratings to JAA for employment in the EU. European students find the process of converting their licenses to JAA a simple process — and good value. You can even finish your ATP theory course and exams while in the U.S. to complete all your training even faster.
It’s the old supply and demand game. Figures show the number of UK-registered pilots falling from 2,723 in 2002-3 to 2,400 in 2004-5. At the same time the industry is expanding, fuelled by discount airlines strong growth. British Airways in advertising for pilots now. Ryanair is looking throughout Europe for pilot candidates, and Easyjet has even decreased its minimum flying requirements from 1,500 to 500 hours in the effort to recruit more pilots.
Ryanair, which increased its UK-based routes to 178 last year from 116, is seeking approximately 300 new pilots throughout Europe. But even with this aggressive recruiting, Ryanair is struggling to keep up with its growth. At the end of its flying year, many of its pilots will have come close their 900 maximum annual cockpit hours. As a result, Ryanair had to cut capacity by 100,000 seats in the first three months of 2006.
How much are they willing to pay pilots? Companies are prepared to pay salaries of up to 100,000 UK for an experienced pilot. Get information on a US pilot training school.