British Airways to recruit ‘record number of pilots’ in 2016

British Airways is to recruit a record number of pilots and cabin crew in 2016, which will increase its flying crew to more than 20,000 for the first time in its near 100 year history.

The record crew numbers will help fly the airline’s growing aircraft fleet – with 13 brand new 787-9s and A380s arriving in 2016 alone – serving 13 new short and long-haul routes starting this year.

As announced by Capt. Lindsay Craig at Pilot Careers Live in November 2015, the airline plans to recruit more than 350 pilots and 1,600 cabin crew – the highest number in a single year for the carrier. Speaking at the November event, Captain Dave Cox, Fleet Manager (Technical) at BA Cityflyer, explained how the recruitment plans bode well for the industry as a whole, explaining, “It’s like the housing market; when British Airways starts recruiting, everyone moves up one rung.”

The airline recruits its pilots through three main channels; its own sponsored cadet scheme, direct from other carriers and experienced pilots from the military. The airline’s cadet scheme, the British Airways Future Pilot Programme opens annually to anyone aged 18 to 55 with no previous flying experience necessary.

All flying crew will be trained at British Airways’ new state-of-the-art Global Learning Academy based at Heathrow, which includes the airline’s 15 full motion simulators, and realistic short and long-haul aircraft training cabins.

British Airways’ director of flight operations, Captain Stephen Riley, said, “It’s a great time to be a British Airways pilot. We have excellent opportunities for new pilots with the British Airways Future Pilot Programme entering its fifth successful year, as well as the very best experienced flight crew from other airlines and the military.

“We’re extremely proud that we have more female pilots than ever before, and we are continuing our recruitment campaign to encourage more women to apply to fly commercial aircraft.”

The record numbers of flying crew will join the airline in a year when its plans include the delivery of 1 Boeing 787 Dreamliners ft and long-haul aircraft 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and two A380s. The airline will also welcome new 787s, A350s and A320 NEOs in the coming years.

Main picture: British Airways captain at T5, London Heathrow, UK, 23 August 2011
(Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)