We often discuss the global pilot shortage here on Travel Radar, with the recurring theme of financial barriers facing potential future pilots. Typically integrated airline training courses cost upwards of £80,000+, some with guaranteed airline jobs, and other’s without.
We previously covered news of TUI’s Fully Funded MPL Cadet Pilot Scheme, and we’re pleased to cover today the latest airline to step forward and offer funding support to future pilots – WizzAir.
WizzAir Launch ‘She Can Fly’ Program
WizzAir has this week unveiled their new ‘She Can Fly’ program, as part of their WizzAir Pilot Academy. For those unfamiliar, the WizzAir pilot academy (WAPA) takes want-to-be pilots from no previous flying experience, to the right-hand seat of the airline’s A320/21 fleet, in just 18 months. The carrier fronts a significant portion of the costs, but still requires cadets to pay a contribution of €13,950, with the remaining balance (up to the total of €61,460) being fronted by the airline and repaid through a salary sacrifice scheme once employed. This still presents a barrier to future pilots, and so WizzAir’s ‘She Can Fly’ program totally alleviates this, with just an €800 enrollment fee covering the first phase of training.
Speaking to the media, WizzAir’s spokesperson said:
Only 5% of the world’s commercial pilots are women, and we believe it is time for that to change. The “Wizz Air Pilot Academy She Can Fly program” is designed to give aspiring female pilots the opportunity to pursue their passion for aviation and achieve their career goals with affordable terms. Join us on this journey to break down gender barriers and increase the representation of women in aviation.
The ATPL License
Cadets on the ‘She Can Fly’ program will gain a frozen ATPL license upon completion of training, alongside an Airbus A320/21 Type Rating. This allows the holder to exercise the privileges of a PPL, CPL and IR license, as well as operate commercially as a co-pilot on the Airbus A320/21 family of aircraft.
The Program will last around 18-21 months, with a further 5-6 months of advanced training with WizzAir (Type Rating, Line and Base Training) before flying passengers commercially. The course is designed to take candidates with little to no flying experience. The start dates for 2023 are named as June 2023, and October 2023, with a course size of 10-15 cadets per course.
Eligibility for the ‘She Can Fly Program’ includes:
- To be based and have an unrestricted right to live and work in one of the following countries where Wizz Air has an operational base: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Serbia
- Must be an aspiring female pilot aged 18 or above
- Ability to swim 50m without any aid
- Minimum high school degree achieved (GCSE’s for those in the UK)
- Fluent in English (both written and spoken)
- Good understanding of Mathematics and Physics
- University degree and previous flight experience up to PPL license will be taken into consideration during the pre-screening phase
Males are not permitted to apply to this program, though they can apply to the Wizz Air Pilot Academy, which is partially-funded.
How to Apply
Candidates can apply directly via the WizzAir Careers Site. The assessment process is split into five stages:
- Stage 1: Pilot Aptitude Test
- Stage 2: Personality Questionnaire
- Stage 3: Group Exercise
- Stage 4: Personal Interview with WizzAir Pilot Recruitment Team and representative from Trener Flight School
- Stage 5: Financial Background Check and Class 1 Medical (required to provide certificate)
It is likely this scheme will attract many applicants, so interested candidates should consider applying as soon as possible.
What are your thoughts on the WizzAir ‘She Can Fly’ Pilot Program? Is this the start of more accessible entry to the flight deck for prospective pilots? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And from Travel Radar, other airlines – what are you doing to tackle equality to the flight deck?