Pilot Careers Live travelled to Ireland on Saturday for our penultimate event of 2022 at Croke Park, Dublin. We were supported by 23 exhibitors, and visitor numbers were on a par with pre-pandemic numbers. There was a real buzz in the air!
Exhibitors reported a busy and valuable day and visitors – who travelled far and wide to attend – arrived early and stayed the full day, making the most of the opportunity to talk to the industry experts, cadets in training and qualified pilots on hand to share their experiences. Whilst there have been concerns recently that interest in the career was waning, there was no sign of that at Croke Park on Saturday!
Aer Lingus – Ireland’s Flag Carrier
The event opened with a keynote talk from Aer Lingus’s Captain Karl O’Neill, Chief Instructor ATO Pilot Training & Standards, and A330 SFO Lisa Cusack, AWAR Trailblazer and Dublin Junior Chamber Outstanding Young Person of the Year 2020. The message was all about growth and opportunity and Lisa’s story of her passion and personal journey to the flight deck ‘funded by 10,000 cupcakes’ was nothing short of inspirational.
Lisa concluded with three key tips: “Work hard, never give up and believe in yourself.”
Ryanair – Europe’s largest airline
Ryanair Pilot Recruitment Specialist, Leah McLoughlin, reinforced the message. As ‘Europe’s Biggest Cadet employer and Europe’s Largest Airline’, Ryanair’s Mentored Cadet Programme offers a variety of entry points and supports some excellent career progression opportunities. Again, growth and opportunity were key messages from Leah and the Ryanair team with encouragement to follow their Linkedin group ‘Future Pilots of Ryanair’ for DEP and cadet pilot recruitment news. Ryanair also has a great video on Instagram – @ryanairpilotrecruitment – giving a real insight into a pilot assessment day.
Irish Air Corps – a life less ordinary
Celebrating its centenary in 2022, the Irish Air Corps provided a military balance to the seminar programme.
Captain Niall Dungan, Chief Simulator Instructor at the Irish Air Corps Flying Training School, talked of his own career which clearly demonstrates the variety available for career progression. In a few short years, Niall has amassed over 1,200 hours operating the Pilatus PC-9M aircraft, primarily in the role of instructing student and student-instructor pilots. He’s also served as ‘Silver 3’ of the Irish Air Corps’ Aerobatic Display Team – The Silver Swallows. Prior to being posted to the Flying Training School, Niall flew the EC135P2+ Helicopter in No.3 Operations Wing.
If ‘a life less ordinary’ flying both fixed wing and rotary, and completing varied duties from ceremonial to fire-fighting and Air Ambulance appeals to you, then the air corps cadet programmes normally run annually, so keep an eye out for the 2023 launch.
easyJet – 1,000 pilots needed
After their popular talks at Pilot Careers Live Heathrow, North and Madrid earlier this year, easyJet returned to join us in Dublin. Their speaker, Captain Kate West MBE. became the world’s youngest female commercial Captain aged just 26 and is now the airline’s Training Manager – Pilot Development.
Again the theme was growth. Kate talked about easyJet’s requirement for 200 experienced and newly qualified pilots a year over the next five years, explaining that cadets would primarily join the airline through their Multi-crew Pilots’ Licence programme which is tailored to easyJet A320s, culture and Standard Operating Procedures.
The airline is confident the MPL produces pilots who are better suited to airline operations and, with easyJet supporting merit-based career progression. MPL graduates have proven to enjoy greater success in progressing through to Command.
Drawing from her own experience, Kate concluded by saying that she believes the three most important considerations when making your training and career decisions are –
- You – be sure you are ready and of the right mindset to manage the training
- Your support network – ensure your family and friends are behind you and fully understand the training and career expectations
- Your training provider – it’s essential you choose a good training provider.
Wizz Air – growth and sustainability hand in hand
Many of our visitors stayed the full day to hear SFO Nikki Janssen, Recruitment Adviser for Wizz Air, present our final seminar of the day.
In line with the messages shared throughout the day, Wizz Air also has exciting growth plans focused on developing a wider route network south and east of their main hubs. As a result of these plans, a significant number of DEP and cadet entry opportunities for both modular and integrated graduates are available.
Wizz Air prides itself on its green policies and they aim to be the greenest choice for air travel. With one of Europe’s youngest fleet and lowest CO2 emissions, and the help of a great number of fuel-saving initiatives including a mobile electronic flight bag, fully paperless flight deck and continuously modernised fleet, their aim is to continuously reduce their environmental footprint. More info
It’s a great time to train
What was clear from each and every seminar is that there are genuine opportunities out there. Direct Entry Pilot recruitment continues apace and the need for cadet entry, newly qualified pilots is increasing. It’s a great time for those considering a career in aviation.
“It was a pleasure to be part of such a fantastic event at this year’s PCL Dublin,” said Captain Kate West. “The enthusiasm of the exhibitors, the speakers and most importantly, the aspiring pilots and their families, created such a wonderful atmosphere. It was thoroughly enjoyable speaking to so many people, hearing their stories and hopefully inspiring the next generation of commercial pilots.”
Pilot Careers Live, Dublin will return in 2023
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In the meantime, if you’re free on Saturday 5 November and can get to Heathrow, we’ll be at the Sofitel Terminal 5 with Pilot Careers Live, London.