Low-cost airline easyJet, which operates 25 routes from Liverpool, is looking to recruit a new generation of pilots from all backgrounds – and no flying experience is necessary. Tony McDonough reports
A new campaign to recruit a new generation of pilots has been launched by low-cost airline easyJet.
And the carrier, which operates 25 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, says it is looking for candidates from all sections of the community and particularly welcomes applications from women who currently make up just 6% of airline pilots.
It is re-launching its Generation easyJet Pilot Training programme for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign features a parent, a former gymnast and DJ, who all trained to become real life easyJet pilots.
Aspiring easyJet pilots can have little or no previous flying experience. It takes around two years to become qualified to operate a commercial passenger jet. Candidates are enrolled on an intensive training course.
Applicants will need to be aged 18 or over by the time they begin training and have a minimum of five GCSEs of Grade C or above (or equivalent), including maths, science and English language – no higher qualifications or degrees are required.
Last week easyJet reported a surge in bookings following the lifting of COVID travel restrictions and says its network capacity may be close to pre-pandemic levels by the end of summer 2022. It is targeting significant growth and is looking to recruit 1,000 extra pilots over the next five years.
Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said: “We continue to focus on challenging gendered stereotypes of the career having doubled the number of female pilots flying with us in recent years.
“We also acknowledge that while we have made progress, there is still work to do. Increasing diversity in all of its forms in the flight deck is a long-term focus for easyJet and so we will continue to ensure we lead the industry on this issue.”
Former gymnast and now Senior First Officer with easyJet, Nina Le is featured performing a split leap on the tarmac, showcasing her fantastic reactions and hand-eye coordination – key skills for aspiring pilots.
She said: “Combining my love of travel with the practical skills I learnt on the gym floor really does make being a pilot the perfect match. I love my job and would really encourage anyone who loves a challenge – and of course great views – to consider it.”
Former DJ Aaron Moseley, now also a Senior First Officer, transitioned from the club decks to the flight deck by training to become a pilot for easyJet seven years ago. His hands-on practical skills have enabled him to switch records for runways.
I’m really proud to be a black man who is also a role model for the next generation,” he said. “Growing up, I never had the chance to see or know a black airline pilot.
“I’m proud to be able to go into schools to talk to young people and show that you can develop skills through all kinds of experiences like music and sport that they can channel into becoming a pilot, and have the opportunities to achieve their dreams too.”
Mother-of-two, Captain Iris de Kan, is seen in one of the adverts with five-year-old daughter Kiki. The ad serves to communicate that those with incredible multi-tasking skills could make for excellent pilots.
While many parents wish they had eyes in the back of their head, it’s a common misconception that 2020 vision is required to become an airline pilot. Iris said: “It’s important that girls have visible role models so we can combat job stereotypes and show that anyone with the motivation and passion can turn their skills to being an airline pilot.
“I love the responsibility and challenge that comes with my job – but it’s not as challenging as juggling the demands of a five-year old and a little baby at home.”
Aspiring pilots can find out more and apply today by clicking here.