British Airways, the UK’s flag carrier, has selected Skyborne as the official UK preferred supplier for the new Speedbird Pilot Academy. Your route to becoming a British Airways pilot. Applications are now closed, and will re-open in Spring 2024.
This multi-million-pound pilot training initiative offers a fully-funded path to the flight deck with British Airways, training at the most trusted airline academy in the industry, with world-class facilities and teaching staff with a wealth of airline experience.
Fully-funded places for the Speedbird Pilot Academy will be available here at Skyborne.Together with BA, Skyborne is playing a pivotal role in driving change, showing people from all walks of life how exciting and secure an airline pilot career can be.
The Speedbird Pilot Academy application window is now closed and will reopen in Spring 2024. To keep up to date with future application windows, register your interest on the British Airways careers page to receive job alerts.
The benefits of training at Skyborne include:
Multi-million-pound training initiative offering a fully-funded path to the BA flight deck.
The Speedbird Pilot Academy offers the opportunity to secure a Conditional Job Offer as a Professional Pilot.
Purpose built training centres and accommodation in the UK and U.S.
Learn from our talented and skilled instructors while participating in a fully-mentored pilot career development programme.
Train at the busiest general aviation airport in the UK and year round sunshine in Florida.
Frequent course start dates commencing in March 2024.
British Airways' pilot mentors supporting you on your journey.
The first British Airways Speedbird Pilot Academy course will commence in Spring 2024.
Skyborne takes a truly integrated approach to your airline pilot training, using our many years of experience to devise the best curriculum for you to learn the necessary skills to become an airline pilot with British Airways.
Training takes place in five phases and the whole course takes approximately 18 months to complete.
Your aircraft flight training will start earlier than in most other flight schools. The ATPL theoretical knowledge training is delivered in two parts, with the initial flight training sandwiched in between.
There is a selection process to undertake for the British Airways Speedbird Pilot Academy. We have listed the high-level steps below for reference. Please scroll through the steps.
The application process is free – when you are ready – click the “Apply Now” button!
In order to apply, candidates will need:
6 GCSE’s (or equivalent), Grade A-C or 5-9 (including English, Maths and one of the Sciences).
You must be a minimum height of 5ft 2in.
A current and valid unrestricted UK CAA Class 1 Medical Certificate is required before the commencement of training.
You must be fluent in English – both written and spoken. As a guide, you must be proficient enough to achieve ICAO Level 4 or IELTS Level 5.5 (academic).
Technical skills are important, but it’s your behaviour as a BA pilot that will really set you apart. British Airways is unique, their pilots are very passionate and enthusiastic about the role they have in connecting Britain with the world and the world with Britain.
You’ll need to demonstrate the passion and motivation to excel during the training programme, the ability to remain calm under pressure and a strong ability to solve problems. Collaborating and demonstrating you’re a team player is also essential to create incredible experiences for your customers and colleagues on board.
To find out more about the Speedbird Pilot Academy by British Airways, read our frequently asked questions section.
"Skyborne is full of passionate, high quality, caring individuals. I chose Skyborne because it was personal, providing exceptional quality and a high standard of training. For those of you thinking of training at Skyborne, I couldn’t recommend it enough. I have loved every single moment of my time here and have certainly made a lot of friends for life."
"Walking into Skyborne HQ every morning makes me proud to be training here. The balance between professional and family feel is important and Skyborne has got it just right. Ground school was a brutal part of training but the immense support, knowledge and jokes from the TKIs are what motivated me through the exams. My five months in Vero Beach were arguably the best time of my life. There was nothing better than flying with your mates in the morning, followed by exploring the state or relaxing by the pool. I can safely say that training at Skyborne was the best decision."
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Skyborne. All the team were so supportive from day one, all the way through to securing my first airline job.
The instructors were so helpful and the airline-focused training has really helped me in my initial training in the airline industry.”
“From meeting the Skyborne team at industry events, I knew that this was where I wanted to complete my commercial flight training. The DA-42 aircraft that I trained on were awesome and the instructor team were so experienced in this area. The final, all-important element was finding a job. When I secured an assessment with Eastern Airways, the Skyborne team remained on hand to assist with interview and simulator assessment preparation. Now that my type rating and base training are complete, I can say that all the effort has been worth it.”
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Your training starts in our headquarters at Gloucestershire Airport, UK, where you will study and be examined on the UK CAA ATPL subjects. 13 exams will be completed during this phase.
Our immersive approach means, where possible, you may be able to take part in observation flights and conduct familiarisation work in our Diamond DA-42 and Boeing 737 MAX Simulators.
Once you have completed ground school in the UK, you will transition into the single-engine phase of flight training, up to and including, the Commercial Pilots License (CPL) at Skyborne’s fair-weather base in Vero Beach, Florida.
This phase of flight training is completed on our Piper Warrior and Arrow aircraft, plus Red Bird simulators.
On your return from Florida, you will complete your Instrument Rating (IR) at Gloucestershire Airport, on the Diamond DA-42 aircraft and simulators.
You will complete your Advanced Upset and Prevention Recovery (AUPRT) on Skyborne’s Slingsby T67 “Firefly” aircraft. This is a requirement before commencing a Type Rating with the airline.
This final phase will see you complete 40-hours of enhanced multi-crew training to airline pilot standards (APS MCC) on our Boeing 737 MAX simulator.
You will spend the first week in ground school, learning about air law, airline operations, multi-crew procedures, plus technical training. Once this part is complete you will spend the remaining 2 weeks in the B737 MAX simulator, progressively developing jet handling techniques and multi-crew skills. This ensures you will be fully prepared to commence type rating and line training with the airline.
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