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Saturday 20 January 2018

Up, up and away! Aer Lingus begin recruiting for 2016 pilot cadetship

Sasha Brady

Aer Lingus are recruiting 12 new cadet pilots to join its 2016 training programme - bringing the number of new cadet pilot positions up to 60 since the programme began in 2012.

The newly trained cadet pilots are required by the airline to meet the demand for increased long and short haul flights. In July 2015, the airline saw its passenger numbers rise to 1.26 million, a 4.3 per cent increase on the same month in 2014.

Demand for places on the programme is extremely high and last year saw 3,000 people apply to become Aer Lingus recruits with that number expected to rise again this year.

Aspiring aviators can usually expect to pay an upwards of €30,000 for training programmes but Aer Lingus are covering the costs for their cadets. Additionally, they’ll take care of meals and accommodation, as well as providing each cadet with an allowance to help them along.

The 12 successful candidates will begin their gruelling 14-month training in January 2016. Candidates start off with five months of ground training and classroom-based study, followed up with basic flying on single and multi-engine aircraft and aircraft simulators in Ireland and FTE (Flight Training Europe) in Jerez, Spain.

When they have successfully completed the course, cadets will receive their wings and will fly the airline’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft on short haul routes.

The first group of cadets who began their training in 2012 have all qualified and are working as Aer Lingus First Officers on the airline’s fleet of A320 aircraft operating short haul routes.

The second group of cadets who started their training in 2014 have all returned from Jerez and are continuing their line training in Dublin, while last year’s group of cadets who started their training in January 2015 are currently training in Jerez and due to return in March 2016.  

In recent years Aer Lingus has seen an increased interest from female cadets in the programme. The airline currently employs 15,000 pilots, 50 of whom are female, but they hope that number will rise.

“It’s no longer a male-dominated industry and Aer Lingus are taking progressive steps to ensure that there’s a greater gender balance” said Captain Eamon Kierans, Manager of Training and Standards at Aer Lingus.

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