The above conversion route is how I am going about obtaining a JAA CPL/IR with ATPL Knowledge Examinations Passed.
People have their own reasons for choosing the way in which they gain their coverted licence, I'll write mine here. Be warned that this may sound like a war story to you so I don't mind being ignored if you feel as though you're nodding off.
After finishing University I managed to find myself a job that paid enough in order to learn to fly. I had always wished to obtain my PPL so signed up for lessons as soon as I could. I obtained my PPL a year later, which is now six years ago.
I also had it in the back of my mind to make a career out of flying but only really decided upon this career once and for all a couple of years ago. By this time I had my PPL and a few hundred hours of flight time, mainly from flying in the UK but also three flying holidays in the United States. Problem 1 solved - ie no need to gain PPL or hour build!!
So now I had decided upon going commercial, which route to take? As I had a PPL and a few hundred hours I immediately discounted the now Integrated route. So modular it would be. I also liked the idea of business jets so saw being dual licenced, that is having both an FAA and JAA licences would help matters. In any case if I obtained a job later on that didn't require the FAA licence, it wouldn't be wasted as I am sure a few flying holidays in the USA will be forthcoming in the years to come.
I had decided upon obtaining the FAA CPL/IR before starting the JAA ATPL Theoretical Knowledge Course and Examinations. Obtained my FAA CPL/IR at the end of last July with around 490 hours total time.
Enrolled and started on the JAR-FCL ATPL distance learning modular course a couple of months ago, with my first seven exams in November of this year.
In two days time, on Monday, I travel to Florida to add a Multi rating to both my FAA CPL/IR and CAA PPL/IMC. This is in order to have the JAA IR reduced to a minimum of 15 hours flight time, although I am not dislussioned with the fact that this is minimum time, ie I will probably need more than the minimum. The same with the JAA CPL course that is hours as required as I already hold an ICAO CPL. I now have about 530 hours, by the time I finish all of my basic flight training I am looking to have around 700 hours (I do fly quite regularly in a group aeroplane), which coincidently is the minimum hour requirement for Single Pilot IFR Operations!!! Guess what I am looking to do before corporate bizjets or the airlines?
Anyway now the war story has finished I shall say I would recommend anyone starting out, or for people with a PPL already, to go along the Conversion route. Be it FAA and JAA or TC (Transport Canada) and JAA or any other combination.