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Topic: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: TWA772LR
Posted 2013-01-01 23:48:41 and read 3218 times.

Are there any airlines out there that offer ab-initio training? It doesn't matter if it is a well known airline or an obscure one, just as long as it has a good safety record and will look good on a resume. I have looked at LHs pilot requirements and it seems like it is ab-initio, but I am not fluent in German and I don't have EU citizenship. CX has a program similar to LHs but you need a Hong Kong id for that.
Here are my questions:
What other airlines out there offer this type of training?

Do any airlines (legacy, commuter, cargo, etc...) offer any training like this?

If another foreign carrier does, will they accept US citizenship?

I am looking for flight training, and I've always wanted to become a pilot, but the cost is my largest issue. I may have more questions as this thread goes on. Any and all feedback and information is welcome and greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance! Happy New Year!  

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: CaptCufflinks
Posted 2013-01-02 04:18:24 and read 3177 times.

Hi there,

I'm going through the motions on this one myself - I'm going through my training with the intention (hope) of one day being able to occupy the right hand seat.

At this moment in time, airlines aren't paying for people to go and work for them as a rule of thumb. It has become somewhat of a norm (certainly on this side of the pond) to fund your own training and try and get a job with low hours off the back of that. There are, of course, a couple of exceptions as you have pointed out, LH, CX and BA:

With the CX scheme, you can apply to them as a more 'experienced' cadet with a CPL and 250 hours with a non HK ID. It seems like a good idea, but rumour on the grape vine is that there are so many applicants for the scheme in general that it can take them weeks (months) to look at your application. They have three entry routes - cadet, 250 hrs and frozen ATPL (1500 hours), they change their requirements as to which ones they're going to hire on a monthly basis.

BA run a future pilot programme every couple of months or so to hire another 10-80 pilots. You will have to have UK citizenship and you do have to stump up the 80k initially for your training. The money is then 'refunded' to you on successful completion of the training - and if you're accepted into their scheme, you're guaranteed a job as an A320 or B734 FO.

Malaysian, Emirates and Qatar all run ab-initio schemes akin to Lufthansa's (no money up front, but you're contracted in for circa 5 years), the problem being is that they are restricted to nationals of their respective countries. Qatar, however, has hired foreigners before and I'm keeping a weather eye on their website to see whether that's going to change any time soon! I live in hope, though.

If I was you, I might be keeping an eye on American Eagle to open up the books? They're currently desperate for pilots for their fleet and have recruitment drives going on for 1500 fATPL guys and gals - sooner or later requirement might surpass demand and they might train a few people.

Essentially, what I've learned is that it is very, very expensive and you might or might not get a job at the end of it.

As I said, I'm going through this at the moment - so I'd like to think my research is up to date. If anyone else can add any pearls of wisdom to this, please do as I'm always interested in what's going on in this market.

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: baldwin471
Posted 2013-01-02 04:55:08 and read 3163 times.

In the same boat here. Any info from someone who has gone through it themselves would be greatly appreciated.

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: woodreau
Posted 2013-01-02 06:29:46 and read 3140 times.

There aren't any in the United States. There used to be Mesa Airlines that did ab-initio training for 0 to 250 and airline interview for us citizens but they closed down in 2011 I think (they are definitely closed down just fuzzy on the year it was recent)

The path to an airline job is different in they'd compared to outside the US. Pretty much here if you want to be a pilot in the US, you are looking to self fund your own training. There are people who will say go into the military. It's free training. But if you're going to be disappointed that you don't get a pilot slot in the military than don't go that route.

You aren't alone in citing costs. Everyone goes down that road. If being a pilot is what you want to be, you'll find a way.
The practical minimum is 1500hrs for every airline in the US, with the new law that takes effect in aug 2013. Maybe there will be regulation changes that will change that who knows.

[Edited 2013-01-02 06:33:22]

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: Flyer732
Posted 2013-01-02 06:46:19 and read 3127 times.

Here in the US you'll be on your own for the costs these days. Have a look at ATP, they'll run you $60,000, but you'll get a job as an instructor with them at the end and the hours will come pretty fast.

I did the ATP route, but didn't take the instructor job, as I didn't need that many hours that fast.

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: LH707330
Posted 2013-01-02 20:48:38 and read 2962 times.

Has anybody here done the LH ab initio course recently? I happen to be blessed with a German citizenship and plan to apply there later this year. I imagine the application process is highly competitive, so I's like to know what I need to study up on the most.

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: asqx
Posted 2013-01-03 14:50:17 and read 2868 times.

Quoting woodreau (Reply 3):
There aren't any in the United States. There used to be Mesa Airlines that did ab-initio training for 0 to 250 and airline interview for us citizens but they closed down in 2011 I think (they are definitely closed down just fuzzy on the year it was recent)

Nope, still in business. I see them flying around Mesa-Gateway all the time. http://www.flympd.com/

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: Flyer732
Posted 2013-01-03 19:07:29 and read 2819 times.

Quoting asqx (Reply 6):
Nope, still in business. I see them flying around Mesa-Gateway all the time. http://www.flympd.com/

I've heard they're struggling against their neighbors...

Topic: RE: Airline Pilot Training Questions
Username: Starlionblue
Posted 2013-01-05 03:30:54 and read 2696 times.

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
CX has a program similar to LHs but you need a Hong Kong id for that.

Just to nitpick, you need either Permanent Residency or Citizenship. Just being a resident is not enough. Note that CX gives priority to permanent ID for the zero hour program, but in theory you can get in without. Not that this will happen again in the foreseeable future.

Quoting CaptCufflinks (Reply 1):
They have three entry routes - cadet, 250 hrs and frozen ATPL (1500 hours),

There is no frozen ATPL route. The entry points are Cadet, CPL with 250 hours or ATPL (non frozen) including 500 hours in multi-engine aircraft over 2000kg. You also need a university degree or a pass in all ATPL subjects or a certain combination of high school math and science grades.


Dragonair offers similar programs but is tougher, since for the CPL/250 route you need a frozen ATPL. I guess this is since you go straight is as F/O while at CX you go S/O.

Quoting Flyer732 (Reply 4):

Here in the US you'll be on your own for the costs these days. Have a look at ATP, they'll run you $60,000, but you'll get a job as an instructor with them at the end and the hours will come pretty fast.

You can do it for that price or a bit less at plenty of schools in the US. Just be wary of rip-offs, of which there are many.

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
If another foreign carrier does, will they accept US citizenship?

CX and KA don't care apart from the zero hour programs. Actually they'd be happy to take you, but HK Immigration says they can't claim you have a "unique skill" in order to immigrate you and then train you for that skill.

Typically citizenship is not an issue cost wise for Far East and Middle East carriers since compared to the cost of your training the cost of a working visa is peanuts. However if they can find candidates locally that is of course easier to sell to the immigration authorities.


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