November 22, 2023
The profession of pilot has always been one of those that attract the interest of adults and young people alike, but at the same time seem difficult to attain. The opportunity to become a commercial aviation pilot has been available in Latvia for the past five years. airBaltic Pilot Academy has trained 95 pilots, most of them from Latvia, to work for the airline.
This autumn, airBaltic Pilot Academy has launched an initiative to visit Latvian schools to talk about entry requirements, studies and work at airBaltic. Together with representatives of the academy, young pilots also take the opportunity to visit the schools they have graduated, thereby serving as an additional source of inspiration for high school students.
At the beginning of the 2023 / 2024 school year, 18 schools have already been visited. In general, by the end of the year, it is planned to go to the so-called inspiration trips to another 19 secondary schools, but by the end of the school year it is planned to visit 55 schools throughout Latvia.
Kristaps Lapsa, CEO at airBaltic Training: “The current offer, where the airline provides a loan covering the largest part of the tuition fee, is unique at the international level. It is important to us that local young people are aware of and seize this opportunity, thus strengthening Latvia’s competitiveness in the aviation sector. So far, 10 of our graduates have become instructors and are passing on their knowledge. This is a great testimony to the quality of the academy, as well as to the career opportunities offered by the studies.”
Andrejs Šepilovs, a student at airBaltic Pilot Academy: “Returning to my school felt very nostalgic. It was a pleasure to meet my teachers, who welcomed me and gave me the opportunity to tell them what I am doing now. Although at the beginning the pupils seemed a little scared of the seriousness of the profession of pilot, I could see their interest. I think that the profession of pilot is still too unfamiliar to many, so I think that this opportunity to visit schools is a great way to promote the airBaltic Pilot Academy and the aviation industry in general.”
Madara Sarkane, Career Counselor at Riga English Grammar School: “It was a great opportunity for interested high school students to learn about the airBaltic Pilot Academy, entry rules and the training process. We really appreciated the opportunity to learn about the experience of a future pilot and to receive practical advice on how best to plan your future professional development if you find the aviation sector attractive. Thank you for telling us not only about the training opportunities and their practical side, but also for the detailed answers to our students’ questions about the tuition fees, the process and the skills and personal qualities needed for a successful career as a pilot.”
Since October 2023, airBaltic Pilot Academy has improved the payment structure for its commercial pilot study program. As of now, after successfully passing the company’s assessment, airBaltic will loan most of the study fee. Students of the airBaltic Pilot Academy will now have to cover the costs of ATPL theory studies and 45 flight hours, costing EUR 15 000. After passing airBaltic pilot assessment and becoming an employee of the company, the airline will provide financing (loan) for the rest of the studies.
There are 110 active students at the airBaltic Pilot Academy at the moment. Most of them are from Baltic countries, however, there are students also from other EU countries such as Germany, France, Finland, Spain and Italy among others. Overall, more than 10% of airBaltic Pilot Academy students are female. As for now, 95 students, after graduating, have joined airBaltic.
To learn more about the airBaltic Pilot Academy and to apply for studies, please visit: www.pilotacademy.com.
airBaltic in brief:
airBaltic (Air Baltic Corporation AS) is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. Its primary shareholder is the Latvian state, which holds 97.97% of the stock, while the rest of the shareholders hold 2.03%. airBaltic offers connections to more than 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Caucasus region. Over the last 28 years airBaltic has developed as a strong and internationally respected airline, which employs more than 2 500 employees. The airBaltic fleet consists of 45 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, making it one of the youngest fleets in Europe. The airline has received several international awards for excellence, innovative services and significant achievements. Skytrax has awarded airBaltic two years in a row as the best airline in its region. Additionally, in 2022, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) awarded airBaltic the Diversity and Inclusion Team Award. In 2023 the airline received the APEX Passenger Choice Award of Best Cabin Service in Europe.