AN AWARD-winning airline has launched a pilot cadet programme for newly qualified pilots to fulfill their flying dreams.

The scheme being launched by Jota Aviation airlines, based at Southend Airport, will allow the rookie pilots to becoming fully-fledged, commercial airline pilots, which can often be difficult for budding pilots who cannot afford the huge expenses.

Typically, a pilot can expect to pay for the cost of a type rating before flying for a commercial airline and the expenses are often prohibitive.

The aviation industry has been struggling with a shortage of existing pilots, and combined with a maturing workforce, airlines have recognised the need to develop young people by offering incentives, and both funded and self-funded pilot schemes.

The essential entry requirement for the programme meant only candidates with a valid frozen ATPL licence, a valid ME instrument rating and current class 1 medical certificates were eligible to apply.

Most applicants had low flying hours, which is often the case for new pilots and can make it challenging to secure their first flying job.

Over a three-month period, Jota Aviation - Cargo Airline of the Year in 2016, and 2013 - interviewed candidates for the programme where three cadets were chosen.

The aim for the successful candidates is for them to become type-rated first officers flying the airline's fleet of Avro RJ aircraft.

Steve Speight, head of training for Jota Aviation, said: “I have experienced the great success of cadet programmes over many years and the current crop of pilots have performed very well during training and show great promise. "This is an outstanding opportunity for young pilots to fly a demanding aircraft in varied and exciting environments and I look forward to further cadet recruitment.”

The course started in December 2018 and saw the cadets undertake an extensive training programme which consisted of ground training, emergency and safety training, examinations and simulator assessments.

They were then finally issued an AVRO RJ type rating and ready to fly for Jota Aviation as first officers.

The charter airline, now employs over 120 people at Southend Airport and has a track record for developing its workforce through on the job training

and support programmes.

For more information on Jota Aviation’s pilot cadet initiative contact,