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British Airways Future Pilot Programme.

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British Airways Future Pilot Programme.

Old 20th Nov 2012, 08:50
  #181 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Manchester
Age: 32
Posts: 222
Dear applicants,

As one (now retired from BA) who continues to give advice in schools to those aspiring to a career in aviation, can I offer a few comments of my own?

With the opening of applications for the next FPP courses, I have taken some time to read all of the posts on this thread. I would suggest that anyone who is thinking of submitting an application takes the time to do likewise. This, together with careful reading of the official FPP site, including the FAQs, will address most of your basic questions.

If you have any doubts about your state of health a Class 1 medical examination now will hopefully put your mind at rest, or at least save you any further expenses which may be incurred during the selection procedure, before finding out at a late stage that you do not meet the requirements.

BA are not seeking to employ the cheapest co-pilots in order to satisfy legal crewing requirements; they really are looking for those with at least the potential to become aircraft commanders - in every sense of the word. Whilst once the answer to the question, 'Why do you want to become an airline pilot?', might suffice as a part of the selection procedure, they are now seeking applicants with a far broader skill set, which will encompass commercial knowledge and awareness plus management and interpersonal skills, as well as those in the traditional areas of piloting ability; with both the ability and motivation to acquire those skills in a very rigid time frame, on the ground, in the air and also during the simulator and route phases of training. In the area of pilot training time is most definitely money; resits and retakes are to be avoided at all costs.

The basic sifting by academic qualifications, on-line selection by essay writing, psychometric and Compass tests, together with the interviews, will seek to explore all of these areas in some depth. Assuming you score highly in all individual processes, it will be your personality (or lack of) which will determine your ultimate success.

I wish you all good luck. It is a brilliant career, which I was able to enjoy for over 35 years.
I do not usually comment on here too much but having read this I felt the need to. Fantastic post. I advise all aspiring BA pilots to read these kind words of wisdom.

Thank you
funkyt111 is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 11:53
  #182 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: hiding
Posts: 4
FPP Pay Scale

Anyone know what the pay scale is?

The FPP website only quotes the starting salary of 22,700 which is pretty risible. They do mention 8k to 10k in flight pay, which will just about pay the interest on the debt you have incurred.

So, no-one is going to sign up for the opportunity to earn 23k plus flight pay. Anyone know how quickly it ramps up over the first few years?
no guesses is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 14:41
  #183 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 215
BA will also pay you 1k a month for 84 months to cover the bond. Sounds like a good call to me, but plenty will think otherwise. Simple answer is if you don't like the terms, don't apply!
Libertine Winno is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 15:22
  #184 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: hiding
Posts: 4
.... but what are the terms? What are the salary increments after year 1? They aren't on the website and there's no number to call to ask the question ....
no guesses is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 15:29
  #185 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 266
22,700 plus 8-10,000 allowances (at least 3000 of which is tax free) plus 12,000 bond repayment (tax free) adds up to equivalent of at least 45,700 if you were taxed at 20% in a normal job. Hardly risible. I reckon take home of 2200 average per month less pension contribution plus 1000 tax free to pay back the loan? Happy to be corrected on my maths!

From the BALPA database: Allowances are 9.73 a block hour taxed at 100% (average 700 a year) plus 3.12 per hour away from base 21% of which is taxed (depending how many tours / day flights but for 700 hours flying I reckon at least 1500). 8-10000 is on the conservative side based on this. In your 8th year you will switch to the full salary which is currently 70k + allowances in year 8 for longhaul, 64.5k SH (slightly less on pp34 scales I guess).

Last edited by Propellerhead; 20th Nov 2012 at 16:28.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 15:48
  #186 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: timbuktu
Posts: 1
long time reader first time poster. Apologies of these are stupid questions but i have searched and read the whole thread!

1) Obviously ba arent going to promise you a job at the end of the course, but "if jobs are available" covers a wide range of sins. Is it just oil at $400 a barrel and ww3 covering their arse? How many people are waiting for jobs at the moment? is there a furlough/waiting list and is it ordered? are any bmi guys on it? what about ffp graduates from previous years? So what are the odds of a job? if you pass ffp2012 are you guaranteed to be added to the list or could ba just start hiring FOs with hours and leave you waiting forever?

(fwiw i wouldnt pay ctc/oaa/fte a penny for a frozen atpl, i went to a comprehensive school, i dont live with my parents, am in my mid 30s, and i would be borrowing the money from a bank!)

2) what kind of rota would you get on short haul? is it in chunks? are you on standby all the time? hence making living closeby essential?

3) say each trainer has 25 places how many will they put through to stage 3 at ba? not looking for confidential info, but if someone has been to stage 3 previously and there were X days of interviews and on the day you went there were Y people it would give an idea if the trainers are putting through say 50 or 500.

lostmyshoe is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 16:57
  #187 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: UK
Age: 32
Posts: 57
Allowances of 9.73 taxed at 100%, I'd be a little dismayed that I was giving it all to the taxman. Typo?
ExMilRedundancy is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 17:29
  #188 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 36
= fully taxed at your marginal rate.
FullTanks is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 17:34
  #189 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 266
100% of which is taxed.
Propellerhead is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 17:42
  #190 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 487
You're fretting about remuneration? BA is the biggest flying gig in the uk. If you succeed and hang around long term, money will not be a problem. Add on to that the biggest choice of types, bases, LH, SH etc.
deltahotel is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 18:43
  #191 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Under the table
Posts: 183
I've been lead to believe the base salary increments are about an increase 5k a year until it catches up with DEP payscales.
Stocious is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 18:55
  #192 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,355

Add on to that the biggest choice of types, bases, LH, SH etc.
(my italics)

I'm really not sure even the most devout BA acolyte would claim they've got a large choice of bases, that said I agree with the rest of your sentiments.

Last edited by wiggy; 20th Nov 2012 at 18:56.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 19:52
  #193 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 487
Yeah, you're right, scratch the bases comment! From outside BA looking in and comparing this with other entry routes to commercial aviation I'd apply for this scheme if I was starting now. Mind you, with the current and future state of the industry I'm not sure I'd bother at all!
deltahotel is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2012, 22:30
  #194 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Stockport
Posts: 6
Question Application query

A sensible question about filling in the application and if you have flying experience such as a PPL - is anyone putting it down in the 'Qualifications' section? For example, under 'Other - Other UK'.

Your thoughts please guys and gals?
Aspiration_Station is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2012, 11:38
  #195 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: hiding
Posts: 4
I'm not suggesting that it is a bad scheme, or that people shouldn't apply. What I am suggesting is that anyone applying should be able to look at the finances rationally and understand what they are applying for.

Before you start working for BA you are likely to be over 100k down:

84k for the scheme
5k additional costs to the school (which aren't re-imbursed)
Living expenses
Plus accrued interest on the debt

You start on 23k plus allowances - lets say 32k. Based on normal UK taxation that would give you net pay of about 34k pa / 2k per month.

Many of the posters here seem to think that the repayment of the bond is income. It isn't - it is repayment of a debt that you have accrued on behalf of the company.

Out of that 2k per month you would have to pay interest on your loan - someothing in the region of 600 to 700 per month is probable. That leaves you with 1,400 per month to live off - which is equivalent to a salary of about 22k pa. That's not a lot of money for the quality of people they say they are looking for.

So then the key question becomes, for how long is your base salary 23k, at what rate does it increase, and what is it likely to increase to? None of those questions are answered in the recruitment literature and they don't seem to be available in the public domain. That in turn means that BA are asking for candidates of exceptional quality but aren't supplying them with the data which any rational person would need in order to make an informed decision about the FPP scheme.

I have no doubt that plenty of qualified candidates will apply regardless, but the lack of information seems odd to me.
no guesses is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2012, 12:16
  #196 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 22
You'll find they ask you elsewhere in the application about your flying experience and license details, so it's not necessary in the qualifications section.

Last edited by BobsCousin; 21st Nov 2012 at 12:24.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 15:39
  #197 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 36
Dear applicants,

I have received a number of PMs and an e-mail since my post on page 10 of this thread. Please accept this as my reply to you all.

Thank you for your kind messages and comments, and good luck with your applications.
Regarding BA as it currently operates, I have been retired for almost 10 years, so although I have a number of friends still employed I am rather outside the 'loop' in the operational sense. Despite what you may read on PPRuNe, BA are undoubtedly the premier airline in the UK, if not Europe, in stability of employment terms. Whilst pay scales, time to command and negotiated terms and conditions will inevitably vary over time, very few pilots choose to interupt their career path and leave for another operator because of them. Changes to plans within the industry often occur rapidly and unexpectedly, and are very influenced by World events - 9/11, war and conflict, fuel prices etc. - over which airlines have little or no control.
I would refer you to my previous post, which recommends ways in which you can brief yourselves on the current financial, strategic and operational areas. Include the Financial Times, Aviation Week and Flight in your regular reading, but probably the most powerful tool is the Internet, something from which I was unable to take benefit 45 years ago. The RAeS would welcome you as a member, as would the pilots' union BALPA, which produces an informative quarterly magazine. One of the talents BA should be seeking is a level of proactivity on your part; don't expect to be 'spoon fed' all the way to a cadet training offer.
(Where are you 'TalkPedlar'?)
Good luck.

Last edited by FullTanks; 21st Nov 2012 at 21:37.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 19:44
  #198 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 266
No guesses, did you actually read my post? I spent ages putting that together and answered all your questions with accurate data. If you still aren't satisfied I suggest you contact BALPA. I believe you can join as a a student and will have access to even more detailed data. You're right that it is important to understand the finances but what's the alternative? Many people pay 100k up front with no prospects of a job. Yes, you're not going to be living the high life for the first couple of years but bear in mind many of the cabin crew take home around 1000-1200 per month and live and work out of LHR. As do nurses etc, so it is possible. I've told you the salary after 8 yrs will be around 80,000+ - is that enough for you?
Propellerhead is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2012, 21:03
  #199 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 36
Requirements vs Motivation

Despite my post above I am still receiving PMs seeking my opinion on individual cases. I'm sure you will appreciate that I cannot comment on anyone's particular circumstances. What I have sought to do is to encourage those with the right motivation and qualifications to take up this valuable opportunity, which some have waited for a decade to appear.

The academic requirements are specific and not dissimilar to those half a century ago. They act as a filter at an early stage and will save many the cost of the training school tests and the fee for a Class 1 medical examination. In the modern world an employer is entitled to expect more from a potential employee, especially when they can be very selective in their choice, from candidates who are falling over each other to apply for so few training places.

Many have written that, "I've always wanted to be a BA pilot, it's all I've ever wanted to do". That may sound quite trite in isolation, but it is obviously what motivates you. So what have you done to satisfy this motivation? There are a hundred ways that a lifelong interest in aviation and flying for a living can be addressed, no matter what your age, circumstances or even where you live. The highly motivated candidate will have spent many years seeking out these opportunities or engaging in aviation related hobbies - have you?

Having the relevant qualifications and all the motivation in the World will not be enough if the interviewers judge that you will not fit into the close confines of a modern flight deck. Ultimately they will be looking for those with whom they could spend 12 hours plus on an aircraft and perhaps a week or more down route. Personality and sociability have their part to play in the selection process.
I should add that I am not, nor have I ever have been, involved in pilot selection for any airline, but this is just common sense, not rocket science.

My apologies if you have not received a personal reply from me, I do hope you understand.
FullTanks is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2012, 08:37
  #200 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Under the table
Posts: 183
No guesses, your figures are a little out of sorts to those given by BBVA.

At current repayment rates and the standard BBVA 10 year loan period, repayments (after the two year payment holiday and for a standard 84,000 amount) are two years at about 850-900 a month, then approx 1250-1300 until the end of the loan period. Note you will still get the 1000 from BA a month irrespective of how you finance the training, and you can always overpay the loan if you can afford to. Admittedly this doesn't include living expenses or the FTO top up, but its merely given as a guide for those fortunate enough not to need this aspect financed.

At the time of repayment increase, the base BA salary will have increased to 32k plus flying and duty pay, plus the bond repayment. It's certainly not a product that should cripple those successful applicants.

According to a BALPA source, FPP salaries are as follows: (all are base salary on PP34 from 2011)

Year 1 - 22770
2 - 27628
3 - 32395
4 - 39047

Unfortunately, I don't know the years above this, it was just sent to me as a guide for the first few years financial planning, but as quoted above, it joins the normal scale at roughly 60,000 base if you're still flying SH at that time.

Last edited by Stocious; 22nd Nov 2012 at 08:40.
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