An EASA ATPL(A) certificate requires, among many other qualifications, that the pilot be at least 23 years old and have logged at least 1,500 hours of flight time.

Due to EASA regulation changes regarding ATP flight time requirements , Swiftjet First Officer programs only take place on multi-crew certified aircraft to credit this flight time to meet the EASA ATPL(A) flight time.

The “restricted ATPL(A)" will require pilots to be at least 21 years old with 750 flight hours. Pilots who obtain their certificates and ratings via non-structured general aviation flight training can qualify for the restricted ATPL(A) at age 21 with 1,500 hours of flight time and ATPL(A) Written Exam

I just called an flight school and they told me they have a direct airline program and all I had to do is train with them and then teach for them to obtain the new 1500 hour airline minimums. Should I go to that flight school?

Beware of the old flight school sales pitch “learn how to fly here, flight instruct here”. Perhaps the flight school will indeed offer you a Flight Instructor position once you have completed their Commercial Pilot with Instrument and Multiengine training. This is easy to guarantee to any prospective student as the flight school will not pay you any salary unless you have students to teach since Flight Instructors are only paid by the hour of ground or flight instruction. If the school provides you with few students, you will only be paid accordingly. Not only will it take several years for you to build the flight time required to meet the ATPL(A) requirements but it will be built exclusively in light piston single-engine aircraft under VFR. For example, if a flight school brings in 10 new students every month with the promise to be employed as a Flight Instructor once they have obtained the CPL IR ME, each Flight Instructor will therefore be provided with only one student. You also have extremely limited chances to build your multiengine time since only Flight Instructors with the most seniority are able to teach in multiengine aircraft. The amount of hours of multiengine instruction included in a Part 141 or Part 61 complete initial pilot training course is indeed extremely limited. For about the same price as obtaining your CFI, CFII and MEI, Swiftjet can provide you with a Turbojet First Officer paid position during commercial operations under IFR until you meet the ATPL(A) flight time requirements .

What experience are the airlines looking for?

Many airline human resource professionals feel the best experience you can receive to get hired by an airline is to have flown for one. You are then considered as a professional pilot with airline experience and not as a general aviation pilot without exposure to the real world of commercial aviation. Swiftjet main objective is to provide you with this unique airline pilot experience, which will make you a very marketable candidate for the airline interview.

I am considering obtaining a Flight Instructor License (CFI/CFII). Should I do this instead of a First Officer program?

Any type of professional flight experience you can receive is good experience in order to build your aviation career.  Nevertheless, it is important to consider the following prior to investing in a flight instructor program.

  • What is the ratio of students/Flight Instructors at the school where I will teach? 
    A small ratio means a small amount of hours flown every month therefore a longer duration to meet a total flight time requirement therefore higher living expense costs. In order to meet the airlines flight time requirements, several hundred hours of multiengine flight experience are strongly preferred (turbine strongly preferred).
  • Will I be able to teach in a flight school piston twin aircraft in order to meet these multiengine requirements? If so, how many hours will I get in the flight school's twin per month?  The fact is that out of a 250-flight hour commercial pilot curriculum, most flight schools give you only 15 to 25 hours in a twin aircraft.  It is also important to consider that your school might not have a twin aircraft or might have just a few twin aircraft for a large number of instructors.  You may not be able to teach in a twin immediately since you will first need to meet your school's flight time insurance requirements at which point the instructors are authorized to teach in the twin designated by a seniority list.  A large number of pilots joining our airline programs are Flight Instructors who did not have the opportunity to build up a significant amount of twin time therefore meeting the airlines total flight time requirements but not the multiengine requirements.

In order to save time compared to a Flight Instructor program, I am considering purchasing a block of hours on single or multiengine aircraft with a flight school. Is this more beneficial than a First Officer program?

Our programs are designed to provide you with actual airline First Officer experience in transport aircraft for a lower price (training & EASA check ride included) than renting most single engine aircraft such as a Cessna 150 or 172 in a flight school. Here are some examples:

  • you can build airline multi crew certified regional jet or heavy turboprop flight time as a First Officer.  Examples including the airline training to be qualified as a First Officer (ground school, simulator training, aircraft flight training and aircraft flight check): a multi crew certified heavy turboprop First Officer program including 1000 hours comes out to about 44,990€ including type rating / 35€ per hour and a 500 hour program comes out to €9,990€ including type rating / 50€ per hour.
  • This is to be compared to the average hourly rate of a light single engine piston aircraft such as the C172 or PA-28 of about 120€ per hour: 150,000€ for 1250 hours .

I have decided to join an airline First Officer program. Why choose Swiftjet?

Our programs are based in Europe, USA, Asia and Africa. Our programs take place on several different types of aircraft in each category (executive jet and heavy jet). Our expertise and full time commitment to our airline programs will provide you with the ingredients needed to jumpstart your career. We are airline pilots and as such will offer you the valuable guidance while you are going through the steps of your airline pilot career. Our programs are designed by pilots, for pilots, in all of their aspects.

Airline new hires are given a seniority number. What is its purpose?

The seniority number given to you by the airline will dictate your advancement within the airline (upgrade to a larger aircraft, upgrade to a captain position etc). The earlier you are hired by an airline, the better the seniority number and the faster you will advance. Our airline programs are designed to provide you with the ideal airline experience the airlines are looking for thus increasing the possibility of getting hired by an airline much earlier than by pursuing a flight instructor progression.

Financially, this means a higher income earlier and generally speaking, access to financial benefits throughout your airline pilot career earlier as opposed to an initial flight instructor career path. Your airline pilot career will be advanced by several years. This is especially important to college graduates who will need to start reimbursing a university loan soon and pilots making a career change.

What are the requirements in order to join one of Swiftjet  – First Officer programs?

Joining an executive jet or turboprop program requires to hold a current commercial pilot license with instrument and multiengine ratings and a second class medical. No minimum amount of flight time is required for most of our First Officer programs. It is important to be current flying instruments prior to the first day of class. In case you have not flown instruments recently, one of the best and most economical ways to get your instrument proficiency back is to rent a basic flight school simulator at your local airport and have a CFII conduct one or more review sessions in the simulator, getting you up to the point that you feel confident again. The airline with which you will train will teach you everything you need to know about its flight operations and the transport aircraft you will fly but will not make any review of basic instrument procedures that you are supposed to have acquired during your initial commercial and instrument pilot training. Our airline programs are designed for low time pilots coming out of a flight school with no previous turbine or airline experience.

Joining an airline A320 or B737 NG First Officer program requires to hold a current EASA Frozen ATPL(A) with MCC / JOC UPRT in most cases.

I am leaving the military with pilot experience. Is an airline First Officer program a valuable option for me in order to be marketable to an airline or an executive charter company?

The airlines do appreciate your military background with most of them considering this a plus. Nevertheless, they normally like to see actual civilian commercial experience prior to hiring an ex military pilot. The time and efficiency of our programs will enable you to be an excellent candidate for both airlines and executive charter companies. This is even more important for ex rotary wing pilots since most airlines require a substantial amount of multi fixed wing time.

I do not have previous turbine experience and I am considering receiving heavy turbojet First Officer experience in order to get hired directly by an airline flying heavy jets. Is your heavy turbojet program for me?

  • In order to get hired by an airline flying heavy jets based in the United States or Canada, in most cases it is required to have approximately 2,500 hours total time with 250 to 500 hours of turbine preferred. Receiving turbojet experience will indeed place you in an excellent position to get hired by such airlines since they strongly prefer past experience on aircraft of the same category. Nevertheless, if upon completion of one of our heavy turbojet programs, you fall short of these minimum flight time requirements, joining a heavy turbojet program might not be the best option for you at this stage of your pilot career. Due to the increased program costs involved with a heavy turbojet program as these prices are higher than a turboprop program. For the same price, you can receive more flight time hours in a turboprop aircraft versus a heavy turbojet aircraft. This is to be considered, especially if you currently have less than 1,500 hours total time.
    It is important to not only obtain the ideal airline experience the airlines are looking for but also to build up your multiengine turbine and total flight time at the same time in order to be in an excellent position to get hired by a regional airline or an executive jet company. Your entry level pilot position is the most difficult to get and it is important to optimize your experience in order to obtain it. Once hired, you are already working towards your next move to the heavy jet airline by accumulating additional turbine experience with your initial airline. It is also important to consider the fact that the major US airlines are starting to discontinue short and medium range routes due to the fact that their aircraft flying these routes are too large and not cost effective compared to the regional jets of the regional airlines. Even if the major airlines are still selling the tickets for such routes in some cases, they sublease the flight to a regional airline they are associated with. The regional airlines flying regional jets as part of their fleet will continue to expand their share of the market for the years to come. This is important to you since a regional airline is the preferred place of employment for your first position as an airline pilot.
    Also keep in mind the mandatory retirements of major airline pilots in the years to come (65 years of age is the maximum age authorized to fly for the EASA Part 121 air carriers).
  • In order to get hired by an airline flying heavy jets based in Europe, the requirements are different. Holding a current EASA Frozen ATPL(A) and a first class medical with heavy jet First Officer experience is generally sufficient. A 18 to 24 month duration for initial frozen ATPL(A) training which is always geared towards airline flying coupled with actual airline heavy jet First Officer experience can give pilots better possibilities to get hired directly by EASA heavy jet airlines making Swiftjet heavy jet programs an excellent choice to EASA pilots. In order to optimize the experience received during our heavy jet programs, pilots are based in Europe or nearby countries and fly most of the time within the western European airspace.
  • In most cases, a type rating with 300 to 500 hours of experience on type will be enough for a low time pilot to secure a position with a heavy jet airline.

I have a non-aviation related job and I hold a commercial pilot license with instrument and multiengine ratings. I am now ready for a career change to become an airline pilot. Why should I choose one of your programs?

The Swiftjet airline First Officer programs will give you the airline multi crew certified experience the airlines are looking for. This experience, which would normally take several years to have access to and complete, is available to you immediately. Our training philosophy parallels the training used in the military where low time pilots are provided with the appropriate training in order to be qualified on a turbine aircraft and start flying during actual operations immediately after completing our training. This is an important consideration when making a career change since you might only have a short amount of time available before being in a position of receiving a steady salary and establish yourself with this new career.

I do not have a four-year college degree. Will this limit my pilot career advancement?

Most of the major airlines require you to have a degree. So if you plan to join a major airline in the future, it is recommended that you obtain a four-year university degree.  Some of our pilots have finished their prerequisite classes obtained on campus and are finishing their degree through online classes while they are building time in our programs.

What are some of the features unique to the Swiftjet's First Officer programs?

  • Complete EASA certified commercial aircraft training curriculum undergone with an airline and not with a private training center which gives pilots the opportunity to be prepared from the first day of training to the actual line flying.
  • Extensive Crew Cockpit management training and experience during actual airline flight operations.
  • Advanced multi crew certified turbine aircraft training and experience during actual airline flight operations. Most airlines prefer pilots already qualified on a transport aircraft since this represents a level of knowledge and proficiency on turbine equipment that these pilots have already acquired. This means that the pilot was able to satisfactorily complete an EASA  oral examination and check ride on a turbine aircraft. This is the reason why the airlines are interested in pilots with actual airline turbine experience as a First Officer.
  • Pilots become fully operational as an airline First Officer by being trained to the various tasks that an airline First Officer needs to accomplish, along with the actual flying of the aircraft and conducting these tasks during actual airline operations. Thanks to the “real world” experience received with Swiftjet, the pilot is now able to fulfill these tasks in an efficient and timely manner while flying on line.
  • For First Officer programs not including employment:  Swiftjet will prepare your professional resume and will prep you for your airline interviews.
  • Pilots completing an Swiftjet airline First Officer program meet or exceed the flight time, proficiency, and operational skill requirements of most airlines and charter companies.
  • Swiftjet will be there for you even after you are hired for your initial airline job. We stay with you and your career! A simple phone call to any of our professional airline advisors will get you the important answers to any of your career questions.