Carol Vorderman is backing British Airways’ call for more women to become airline pilots. The TV personality is a qualified pilot.
While British Airways has more female pilots than any other UK airline, the carrier is determined to see that number rise. The airline runs its own cadet training scheme called the British Airways Future Pilot Programme – open to anyone from 18 to 55, with no previous flying experience required, and plans to open the next application window for the programme from February 2015. It also recruits trained pilots from other airlines and the British armed forces.
Carol Vorderman, who is planning to fly solo around-the-world next year following in the flight path of British pioneer aviator Mildred Bruce, said: “I always wanted to be a pilot. It was the reason I read Engineering at Cambridge, and ideally would have joined British Airways after graduating, but sadly their training school wasn’t open at that time.
“Thankfully with initiatives like British Airways’ Future Pilot Programme there are more opportunities for tomorrow’s potential female pilots. What a great life they have ahead of them.”
The airline’s cadet programme has proved popular, with some 4,500 applications in each of its first three years. It has seen a gradual increase in the number of female applicants and successful cadets each year – but British Airways is hoping to attract even more women in order to deepen the potential talent pool of pilots.
Emily Lester, British Airways’ First Officer, said: “The British Airways Future Pilot Programme has allowed me to realise my dream of becoming an airline pilot. After an intensive training programme, I am now flying to destinations throughout Europe and would encourage anyone thinking of a career as a pilot to apply. It is an ideal route into an incredibly rewarding career for men and women.”
British Airways offers its pilots a range of options to suit all lifestyles, including part-time roles, as well as long-haul and short-haul flying on its fleet of more than 280 aircraft across 180 worldwide destinations.