British Airways to hire ex-fighter pilots to fly planes

Kathryn Liston

British Airways is planning to hire ex-bomber and fighter pilots from the Royal Navy and RAF in its largest pilot recruitment campaign for 10 years.

The airline is looking to hire 800 new pilots by 2016 with half the places going to new trainees. The training costs which can reach up to £100,000 per pilot will be financed by the airline and repaid by the recruited pilots during their careers.

The ex-military pilots, who will have flown on missions in Afghanistan and Libya, will fly older planes while longer-serving pilots will be training on the new Airbus A380 and Boeing 777.

A BA spokesman told AOL that the airline has a long history of working with the military. "For us it is a great way of introducing experience and knowledge from existing pilots with newly training recruits. For the MOD, it provides a managed career path for pilots who have completed their service."

He added that new recruits would be helped to gain a place at an approved flight training school with successful candidates being guaranteed a job at the end of their training.

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