BA Speedbird Academy students start at Skyborne

The first trainees on the new British Airways Speedbird Pilot Academy sponsored ATPL course have started with Skyborne Airline Academy at Gloucestershire Airport.

Skyborne was announced as the official UK partner for the Speedbird Pilot Academy in September 2023. The scheme saw more than 20,000 applicants in its first year and a highly competitive process, including online assessments, video and face-to-face interviews, as well as an assessment day with British Airways.

Lucy Silvester, British Airways pilot recruitment manager, said, “We’re incredibly proud that the Speedbird Pilot Academy is making a flying career a reality for everyone – making a genuine difference to people’s lives.

“The overwhelming number and standard of applications is helping to ensure we are attracting the very best flying talent for our future generation of pilots.

“We will continue to invest in our future pilots, as part of our £7 billion investment programme across the airline and will soon announce application details for the second year of Speedbird Pilot Academy too.”

The Speedbird class of 2024 come from diverse backgrounds, range in age from 18 to their mid-40s, and will join Skyborne between March and October this year.

Paul Shrive, father of Speedbird trainee Oliver Shrive, added, “All Oliver has wanted to do is fly. It’s been his dream since he was seven years old. So as parents, to see that dream become a reality makes us incredibly proud. And for Skyborne and British Airways to be able to offer the opportunity and the accessibility to become a pilot is second to none. We’ll be forever grateful.”

The Speedbird Pilot Academy (SPA) with Skyborne is just one route to a career with British Airways. Skyborne is the only flight school to serve as official UK partner for both SPA and the Speedbird Self-Sponsored Pathway (SSP), offering Integrated ATPL applicants the opportunity to receive a conditional job offer from the airline before starting their flight training.

Skyborne Airline Academy