British Airways Starts Hiring Pilots to Prepare for New Planes
British Airways, the biggest airline based at London’s Heathrow airport, said it’s starting its largest recruitment drive for pilots in more than a decade as the carrier expands the fleet with new models.
British Airways plans to hire 800 pilots by 2016 in anticipation of taking delivery of Boeing Co. (BA) 787 Dreamliners and Airbus SAS A380 superjumbos starting in two years, said Tony Cane, a spokesman. The new employees will help cover day-to-day services, freeing existing flight crews to upgrade their skills.
“We need new pilots to cover for increased training for flight crew due to fly the new aircraft,” Cane said today in a phone interview. “We are ensuring that we have the right mix of new and experienced pilots for the coming years.”
The airline, which merged with Spain’s Iberia to form International Consolidated Airlines Group SA in January, currently employs about 3,200 pilots, Cane said. About half the recruits will be newly trained pilots, with the remainder coming from other airlines and the U.K.’s armed forces. Those entering the career for the first time will receive some training funding that they will be able to pay back over time, British Airways said in a statement.