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Starting Late - USA or Europe?

Old 1st Dec 2019, 20:17
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1
Starting Late - USA or Europe?

Hello all,

I'll be turning 33 in a few months, and after 10 years in a different career I'm seriously considering a switch to flying. I got my PPL when I was 18 but just couldn't make the finances work back then, and took a 'safer' option. I'm lucky to have both a USA and a UK citizenship, and I'm considering how best to jump in and make a decent go at it. The options I'm considering:

1. United States

Enrolling in something like LIFT Academy or ATP flight school. It's 9-10 months of dedicated training, then 12-18 months as a CFI to build the 1,500 hours followed by a pretty good chance at a job in a regional carrier in the USA. The cost seems around $80k USD, and hope to be getting into FO at a regional within 2-3 years.

2. Europe

Enrolling in one of the integrated programs, ideally with a cadet partnership. I see programs like the Ryanair MTP program in Bartolini, or BAA Training with Wizz Air. Bartolini program costs about $80k USD. I could conceivably find myself in a 737 or A320 in 2-3 years following this type of program.

For me the pros of the USA would be it's a bit less of a leap to the unknown since I'm geographically closer, and the chances of a regional job appear good given the environment in the US right now.

The advantage I see with Europe is those integrated programs show a path to the right seat and maybe eventually left seat of an A320 or B737. However there's a lot riding on some critical assessments at various stages, and a seemingly shakier industry environment in Europe right now.

I don't have family commitments, I'd put the next 6-8 years into trying to get myself on the right path in a new career. Anyone who has thoughts/advice/perspective I'd love to hear it.
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