Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:44 am

American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:49 am

As a student finishing up my flight training I am starting to look into some future options and after living in Spain for a few years I am interested knowing as to whether Americans can fly for European companies. Does anyone know of any places I can find information on this subject?
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 11:52 pm

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:50 am

i dont see why you wouldnt be able too but i think they might require that you have been living in a european country for a period of years and that you have citerzenship or something along them lines
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:44 am

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:56 am

Is any particular place better to live than another or is it pretty much the same in regards to the hiring process, and are language skills a plus or does it really not matter?
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 pm

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:20 am

Having lived in Spain for a long time myself, I've heard it's difficult to get a job in Spain in your line of work. But I see no reason for you not to give it a go. I have had a few foreign pilots recently with Aer Lingus (but I think they were all Europeans). I've encountered one or two non European pilots on my AF flights between CDG and DUB (operated by Irish airline, Cityjet). Definitely an Australian, and possible an America, accent once. But as Jamesbuk says you'll probably have to apply for some sort of work visa or citizenship first.

Regarding the country, don't know how this would effect you as a pilot, but standards of living do vary quite a bit from one European country to another, with many of the southern countries still well behind the northern countries regarding salaries, standards of living, cost of living. Of course, while salaries may be lower for example in Spain, the cost of living is much lower (yet accommodation in madrid for example is crazy).

Good luck and hope all works out well for you.
Long live Aer Lingus!
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RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:37 am

Thank you for all of your help and information!
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:15 pm

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:57 am

I also heard an American accent recently but on an Aer Lingus CDG-DUB flight, it was the first time I noticed it also on a European carrier, so I guess it can't be that hard.
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Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 4:05 pm

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:46 am

LuxAir has a ERJ Pilot from San Francisco and I believe EI have one or two Yanks as well...
Cainan Cornelius
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:36 am

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:09 pm

there is alot of american pilots flying 4 flyglobespan, 733. 738, and 763. ! Flying out of GLA/EDI.
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:40 pm

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:21 pm

I would definitly say that speaking the language of the country would help. I am pretty sure it is required with airlines in most countries (most definitly carriers in Italy, France, Spain, or Greece) and with bigger airlines. But I have met quite a couple of Americans with Turkish airlines (not TK, but Sky for example, or Pegasus). Don't know if you are considering Turkey a part of Europe yet...

- When dreams take flight, follow them -
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:57 pm

Most European companies require you to be a citizen of thier home country, and EU passport holder, or obtain a visa on your own. They will not sponsor or aid you in getting one. They will also require you to pass the JAA ATP on your own before you can apply and no credit is given for holding a US ATP. This can be an expensive and time consuming proposition, just to apply. I heard that Ryanair was hiring a few americans, but most everyone I know who has tried to get on with any European carrier has only met with frustration.
Proud OOTSK member
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 11:06 pm

RE: American Pilots In Europe

Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:29 am

Hi Acjflyer,

Lowrider is quite right in several aspects, I just would rate the situation not as hard as he explains it here. Let's name it like this: Yes you can work here...but....
So you see, in general their is the possibility, it just needs to be arranged.

Let's have a look at two different aspects that have to be considered:

You need a permission to work. If you are citizen of the country or the EU no problem at all. If you have a residence and work permit (similar to what your country calls a green card for non US-citizens) you stay as well and you will also be free to look for a job. If this is not the case, you need to find an employer and this employer needs to proof, that he needs you and can't fill that gap yet by an European citizen. To make this proof sounds more difficult than it is. Imagine, you are available yet, today and can take up your training tomorrow. The European guy might be in a contract and only be available in 3 months, so you are the one....  Wink

Second thing is the license. Here are different stages that will be applied. If someone has 500+ hours on type he will normally go right on work. JAA is very liberal in those cases, they say if he flew that plane with an XX-countries license for 500+ hours, its nonsense to send him again to school. They normally give you then a one years time period to obtain the full JAA ATPL, but you can start to work right away. Here as well, normally not the entire course has to be attended. They want you to be familiar with the JAA rules and to know the differences.
If you don't have those 500+ hours on type, it gets more difficult. But again, for every problem is a solution. Just remember, many Europeans go to the US to get their license and they need to have it validated after as well. Things are stricter now than in the past. In this case I would recommend you to contact one of the big providers in flight training like Flight Saftey or CAE. There is also a large school in Oxford or here in Switzerland for example Horizon Swiss flight Academy ( ). They all deal all day long with those things as most pilots are a "special case".

Switzerland by the way, although not part of the EU has pretty much the same rules, as they are a full JAA member and do have same rules to settle and work as the EU.

Now I wish you good luck for your investigation and many happy landings!

Legacy135 Wink

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