Aviation in Europe

Europe is one of the largest and most mature markets in Aviation with growth forecast for 2015 at 6.2% and increasing pilot requirements expected over the next few years.

Flying jobs offer a wide choice consisting of working with large mainline legacy carriers, the largest low cost operators, freight carriers, private aircraft and charter companies.

What is it like to be a pilot in Europe?

Working in Europe is restricted to those with the rights to live and work in Europe, with little or no validation availability for either licences or work permits.

As Europe consists of many independent countries, there is a vast cultural variation from north to south which makes the life of a pilot more interesting. Europe is the continent with the most long haul connections around the globe so long haul flying is also extremely varied. As European Aviation has the best flying safety record in the World with year on year improvements in accident and incident figures, this makes it a much sought after working destination for pilots.

We are proud to be BALPA’s preferred partner for flight crew leasing and are one of the few agencies operating through employment agency labour licences in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium and in countries where labour licenses are not required we operate in a fully compliant manner in relation to tax and social security

Pilot Assessment and selections

Within Europe regardless of the country in which pilots are completing selections, the recruitment and assessment requirements for pilots are governed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) rules.
Usually Airlines and Aircraft Operators will make initial selections from gathered CV’s based on the required parameters for their particular needs. Successful initial selection will largely depend upon whether the candidates have the following:

  • The correct licence (EASA ATPL/CPL etc),
  • The right type rating,
  • Relevant flying hours
  • Up to date recurrent training
  • Medical fitness
  • The right to live and work in the country of application

Once the initial selection is complete invited candidates will be requested to join an interview process and expect to partake in any of the following:

  • Initial telephone interview
  • Face to face interviews
  • Group and role play scenarios
  • Technical questioning
  • Computer based pilot assessment (Compass testing)
  • Panel interviews
  • Simulator assessment.
  • A full two to three day selection process incorporating any of the above

The interview process can vary in rigorousness depending on the immediateness of the position or whether there is a training course due to commence in the next few days.

The Simulator assessment may not be done on the type you usually operate, however Airlines will look to put you under pressure during selection, and not just see that you can indeed fly the aircraft you are rated on as this is a given. They may well have you fly profiles ‘raw data’ and look for hand flying skills. Above all most Airlines will look at CRM capability, and reaction to stress so be prepared.

In depth preparation will make selections easier so spend some time to understand the Airline. For example check the airline’s history, types of aircraft operated previously as well as presently, flown routes and the ‘culture’ of the Airline. Knowing this information will mean you can ask searching and good questions during the interview and show the Airline you have come prepared.

Ensure you have revised your performance data for the aircraft you operate and know the systems. Wherever possible try to get some SIM time in before attending the interview, especially if it is some time since you flew the type of aircraft you are applying for.

Once these selections are completed the Airline/Operator will make the selection and offer the candidate a position.

We support all our applicants throughout the assessment and selection process to make the experience as easy as possible.

Find out more about working in Europe.

If you are interested in further information on working in this region please contact us on +44 (0) 1256 368 500 and one of our consultants will be happy to discuss this with you.

Click here to register your details with us.

Other sources of information

European Union 
Regulating Authorities in Europe 

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