Christmas Comes Early For 100 British Airways Cadets

British Airways will today deliver news to 100 applicants of its Speedbird Academy that they have been successful in obtaining a place on the landmark training programme. 

Announced in July 2023, including a public presentation at Pilot Careers Live North, the scheme was the first fully-funded airline training programme for decades. It was a sign of an upturn in pilot recruitment as airlines forecast increasing workforce demands toward the end of the decade. One of the biggest barriers to entry for aspiring pilots is the cost involved, which often hits £100,000 at the completion of flying training.

The Speedbird Academy, which removes this barrier completely, saw over 30,000 individuals apply and, based on anecdotal evidence, around 250 candidates made it through to the final round. The initial online application included three competency-based tests which gave insights into numeracy skills, decision making and workload management.

Each was designed as a cascading test, meaning a pass was required to move on to the next one, and was fully automated. Following this, a second stage involved candidates recording a video which would be assessed by BA staff.

The entire recruitment process included multiple interviews and also saw partner training organisations get involved, from FTEJerez, Skyborne, both of whom will be delivering the Speedbird Academy’s flying training.

Worthy of note is that British Airways has twice increased the size of the final cadet pool. Having initially launched with 60 spaces up for grabs, today’s announcement of 100 successful candidates appears to signify a continuing appetite for new talent from the airline, alongside high-quality group of applicants.

Whilst 100 new cadet pilots is a shot in the arm to prepare British Airways to meet future demand, Pilot Career News understands that the airline is planning to reopen the Speedbird Academy for new applications in 2024. Numbers at this stage are unknown,  but Pilot Career News will bring the latest updates as they happen.