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-   -   Kenya Airways AB Initio Pilot Recruitment (https://www.pprune.org/african-aviation/374048-kenya-airways-ab-initio-pilot-recruitment.html)

aspiringpilot 15th May 2009 10:38

Kenya Airways AB Initio Pilot Recruitment
Hi guys,

I'm currently going through the Kenya Airways AB initio pilot recruitment process, I just want to document what I've seen over the past two months for posterity. The whole process is really rigorous and only people who meet the benchmarks for each stage move to the next one. Its ridiculously competitive, over 300 people start the interview process.

I applied for the program on their website in November 2008(deadline was 31 December 2008) and got an automated response that the application had been recieved. The basic requirements were that one has to be a Kenyan citizen and one has to have scored B+ and above in Math, Physics and English in KCSE and got an aggregate of B+ and above as well.

In April 2009 I recieved an email inviting me for an interview at their headquaters in Nairobi. The first interview was an Aptitude test conducted by the Kenya Air Force at their Embakassi Barracks. It consisted of the following sections
1. Math
2. Shape Matching
3. Mechanical Reasoning
4. Instrumentation
5. General Science

There were about 300 people for the first interview. 3 weeks later, 108 of us were invited for the next interview which was a psychometric / aptitude test called Morrisby Profile. google it to find out more about it.

This week, 57 of us did a medical. They basically checked everything you can think of, height, weight, blood, stool, urine, Chest Xray, ECG, hearing test, eye test and a physical by a Kenya Airways Doctor then another by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority doctor. Some people were referred to Karen Hospital for further tests.

Next up, a psychomotor test and an oral interview with the captains. I don't know how many guys will be picked, I doubt the number is more than 15. Anyone in the know about this??? How is the psychomotor test conducted?

Carrier 15th May 2009 14:48

In these days of increasing concern regarding privacy and loss of personal information by parties holding it, it would be interesting to know what happens to all of the personal information that has been collected by various agencies and individuals during this company's whole recruiting process.

I would never submit to such an insolently intrusive process. I worked my way up the aviation food chain to ATPL and have always submitted just my aviation and education credentials and valid work experience. Note that aviation credentials includes a Category 1 medical, which is all they are entitled to ask for in countries with any decent human rights legislation.

Over the years I expect some potential employers ignored my applications because I did not submit intrusive personal information but that was their loss. I have always been hired by somebody else who remained within the bounds of human rights decency. A potential employer’s attitude during the recruitment process is likely to indicate its attitude towards employees. One that is so intrusive is likely to be inconsiderate towards its employees to the point of being autocratic or dictatorial. Give it a miss; there are other employers out there who are far more considerate without in any way losing anything regarding safety or professionalism.

skytango1 16th May 2009 21:06

KQ...Interview process
Hello Carrier..VERY WELL SAID..I cannot agree with you more..
Been there and done that...still the same old S**T!!!Just a different day!!Yak Yak....Very happy where i am...

aspiringpilot 18th May 2009 08:02

Carrier and skytango1 - You may have misunderstood my post, I was not complaining, I posted the information with the hope that other people applying to Kenya Airways in the years to come may find it useful.

The medical check up is required by law and that is why a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority doctor rechecked all the tests. The Health requirements of the KCAA for commercial pilots are no different from those of other civil aviation authorities
  1. FAA
  2. JAA
Carrier - for you to have obtained the Category 1 medical certificate you must have done the same tests. :ugh:

Kenya Airways will pay for all the training(including food and accommodation) from PPL to ATPL for the successful applicants and for all the type ratings(do the math) so naturally they want to get the best people.

Humpmedumpme - Thanks for the info and the link. Kenya Airways have been very courteous and respectful through out the whole process and have even gone out of their way to reschedule interviews, call interviewees in case they are late, etc... I have no doubt that they will maintain the high level of professionalism they have shown so far during the next two stages.

Of course only people who meet the benchmarks are going to pass otherwise there would be no point in doing any tests for anything
grrrr........ :E

flying_hamster 18th May 2009 16:41

Hey guys..

Well, I'm not sure of the 'professionalism' of KQ..
i too had applied, and hold a degree in mechanical engineering, and a masters degree in International Business..im pretty sure that would've been enough to be called for an interview.

However, no reply till today..i got the confirmation, and my application status still shows 'active'..

i got word that some applications have been "pre-screened", and quite a number got through on the basis of "kujuana na watu"..i'm yet to confirm this..

any updates on that?

wanabeeCapt 18th May 2009 21:01

KQ ab initio
Hey aspiring pilot. I'm one of the remaining who will also do the psychomotor tomorrow. In my opinion, we shouldn't worry about the final number that will go for training in SA. Just give it your best for the remaining stages and you will definately pull through. Though I must point out that last time's lot to be trained were shortlisted to 38. The only inside information I got put this year's required number at an unconfirmed 30.

Incidentally, the link Humpmedumpme posted is the same I came across last week. It is greatly helpful but I'm sure composure and confidence will matter more on the test day.

Flyinghamster, I'm sorry you didn't get called for the interviews being an engineer too myself. You most likely didn't read KQ's second advert calling on applicants to edit their KCSE details. Most eligible people missed out due to this small process. I'm sure KQ will require more trainees again next year and a chance will pop up for you again.

alpha-b 18th May 2009 22:34

I agree 100% with HumpmeDumpme

aspiringpilot 19th May 2009 08:47

Degrees do NOT matter
flying_hamster - Degrees do not matter, only your high school grades (KCSE) were considered. Everyone who got B+ and above in Math, English and Physics and an aggregate of B+ and above as well was invited. Thats why there were 300 people during the first interview. Remember the maximum age is 25. If you meet all the above requirements, try calling them to find out what the problem with your application is.

wanabeeCapt - Good Luck!!!!

flying_hamster 19th May 2009 21:02


I got straight A-s in Maths and English, and B in physics..

however, i didnt do my KCSE..i had opted for the GCE..my mean grade was B, however..

you guys think that might have made a difference?

shoot, i missed on the updating of the results. i decided to pursue a masters degree since, to buy some time before applying..i called the HR department at KQ, and was lucky to get through to a nice guy, who told me that my results were apparently not attached when my application was sent for consideration, and apparently this has happened to alot of people..not sure why they'd do that though?


I'm still wondering though, why my online application says "active application"..any clue on that? seeing that i'm away from home at the moment, i sent them emails, but no reply..

any other means to get through to them?

on the other hand, anyone know when the next recruitment drive is going to happen?

i really want to fly for the national carrier..i would be such a sense of pride for me!

alternatively, i've looked at acquiring a CPL privately..i may have been misjudged, but Flight Training Adelaide is actually reasonably cheap compared to Kenyan Aviation schools, plus, the license is recognised in many more countries..so, hopefully, KQ can step in after i've completed my PPL somewhere, seeing as they have advertised for posts for PPL holders on their careers website..

wanabeeCapt 19th May 2009 21:26

The psychomotor today wasn't that easy except for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th parts. What are the passmarks required?

wanabeeCapt 19th May 2009 21:45

Flyinghamster, you've actually pinpointed the error you made in your application. The update they asked applicants to make was actually the attachment of specific grades. Regardless, I doubt you'd have gone through to the aptitude since you had a B in physics yet a B+ minimum was needed. A buddy of mine suffered that fate. But indeed, kq have advertised for direct entry pilots though I remember them asking for a CPL prerequisite not PPL. I could be wrong but its worth checking out.

flying_hamster 19th May 2009 22:02

@ wannabeecapt


was the attachment meant to be done online? because i cannot seem to locate where to attach..
yes, you are right, it says CPL..my bad..

however, anyone got any direct contacts or email IDs where i can ask why my application online says "active"?

im asking this because maybe my application has been sidelined for the second batch/next intake?


wanabeeCapt 19th May 2009 22:28

The reason your application is still flagged as active is because the kq hr team is poor at doing post-application cleanups. All through the interview process, they'd promised to send feedback to both successful and failed applicants. Upto this moment some are still waiting to be told if they'd passed their psychometric. I'd advise you to simply withdraw your application...none of your previous information will remain in their database then subsequently, create a new one. They do not batch previous applications so everything will have to be from scratch. The update they asked guys to put was not an attachment per say...it was an extra tab they added to applicants profiles for them to fill in their grades. Sadly I have no direct links to anyone who could be of assistance to you directly at the hr dept.

bond7 19th May 2009 23:36


WanabeeCapt. Correction...It's definitely. :)

Overlooking small details may cost you that right seat.

aspiringpilot 20th May 2009 06:52

Psychomotor test
The psychomotor test was the PILAPT test, exactly the same as the one humpmedumpme posted

About MAS Psychomotor Test | Fly Damnit

wanabeeCapt - The first one was fairly ok for me but the last one was horrible. :( Hopefully we did enough to get through to the next stage.

flying_hamster - KQ HQ telephone numbers
Tel: + 254-(0)20-6422000
Safaricom: +254-0711-02-2000
Zain: +254-0734-10-2000

wanabeeCapt 20th May 2009 08:32

Lol! Definitely noted. Notwithstanding though, I must point out that English is my second language. Aspiringpilot, we might just hack it who knows. Its now in kq's hands.

flying_hamster 20th May 2009 09:00

@ wannabecapt

thanks for the insight, i'll be sure to keep an eye out for more ab-initio drives then..not going to give up working for the national airline..always give a tingle just the thought of representing your country by doing what i'd die for: flying :)

the little tab for the results, i filled that in, it was under "academic qualifications", if im not mistaken, and they asked to put in grades for ALL subjects taken at secondary school..still have that tab up and running..guess i'll just withdraw my application, and create a new profile for future openings as such..


@aspiring pilot

Thanks a ton for the numbers, maybe i can ring up and see what they have to say..

wanabeeCapt 20th May 2009 10:18

@flyinghamster, sorry I may have sounded like a wet blanket back there regarding your physics grades. I actually have no idea what score they need for gce grades having assumed it being the same as kcse. You're right, just call them with the contacts you've been given. They're in the best position to advise you on the matter. With that flying psyche you have you will come through soon enough. That said, this was the 3rd time I'd applied for the ab initio recruitment but the 1st time to be invited for the interviews. In essence never give up on your dream. All the best.

atpcliff 20th May 2009 17:23


ALL the ab-initio programs do this, including military, government, and industry-type jobs. I did it to get into the US Air Force. I understand if you don't want to submit to this type of program.

It makes sense for KA to do it, as they will be spending HUGE amounts of money on each cadet, and they want to ensure their success. Most of the European and Asian carriers have similar programs, but much of the actual flight training is done in the US for their programs.

My buddy was just talking to a Kenya CAA guy, and he said that most of the aviation companies in Kenya, including KA, are very short of pilots. He also said that to get on at KA, even though they're short, you need to know the right people.

Today, as we were taxiing in at NBO, it looked like KA City! They were everywhere! I didn't realize, until I came to NBO, how big KA is. I hope they do really well.

One problem for KA, and Kenya aviation in general, is that Jomo is getting WAY too small for the amount of traffic that wants to fly in. The 4 new cargo spots on the Foxtrot Ramp, will ALREADY not be enough, and they aren't even scheduled to be completed until the end of the year-too late!!!

flying_hamster 21st May 2009 04:20

Guys, I see that this thread has people who know how the Kenyan Aviation Scene is, so i thought it best to ask here..

Since my application was turned down for the Ab-initio programme, i have looked into various other options, including a school in Adelaide.

The cost for CPL is fairly reasonable (seeing it includes accommodation too!) and is adding up to roughly about the same as in Nairobi, perhaps even cheaper.

The license issued is certified by the CASA (Australian flight authorities)

any idea what my next steps would be after obtaining my CPL there?

i'm assuming i'll have do undergo license conversion, but say I apply for a job in KQ, will then assist with the conversion programme, or train me further in line with KQ's specifications?

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