British Airways selects Gloucestershire company for pilot academy
By Sarah Wood | 20th September 2023
British Airways has just announced Skyborne as the official UK partner for its first Speedbird Pilot Academy.
Applications are now open for the multi-million-pound training initiative with Skyborne Airline Academy, based at Gloucestershire Airport.
The scheme offers a fully funded path to the flight deck with British Airways, offering candidates the opportunity to begin a career with the airline, regardless of their background.
Following a joint selection process, students will embark upon Skyborne's UK CAA Integrated ATPL programme, with £99,500 of tuition costs covered in full.
Lee Woodward, CEO of Skyborne, said: "As we cement our relationship with British Airways, Skyborne leads as the most trusted airline academy in the industry. Marking our first UK partnership with the UK's largest international airline is testament to the solid track record of our team and the core values we jointly hold.
"From the very start, Skyborne has been committed to removing the barriers to entry to pilot training and widening the talent pool. As a graduate of a British Airways sponsored programme, I know first-hand the life-changing impact such initiatives have, and I applaud BA for its industry-leading Speedbird Pilot Academy."
Captain Ian Pringle, head of flight training at British Airways, said: "By removing initial training costs, we're making a flying career truly accessible, so we can recruit the best and the brightest candidates. We trust in Skyborne to offer our trainees world-class facilities, innovative teaching methods and a wealth of airline experience, building a crucial foundation for their future."
A significant majority of places for the 2023 Speedbird Pilot Academy intake will be available via Skyborne, with British Airways committed to increasing take-up from under-represented groups in aviation, including people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and women.
Carla Booth, group head of airline business at Skyborne, said: "This initiative marks the first British Airways sponsored programme since the mid-1990s, giving hope to diverse communities that have long found the cost of pilot training prohibitive. Together we hope to play a pivotal role in driving change, securing the pilot pipeline and showing young people from all walks of life how exciting an airline career can be."
Applicants must be aged between 18-55, with six GCSEs at grade A-C or 5-9, including maths, English and one of the sciences.
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