NMA330
Topic Author
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:10 am

US Citizen Looking to Attend an Airline Academy/Fly Abroad

Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:50 am

Hello all!

I am currently in my last year of my engineering program at UT Austin and want to attend an airline academy such as the SAA school in Sweden or another such school which offers a cadet program and a guaranteed job as a first officer upon acceptance and completion of the training program. The hurdle I am unsure how to climb is obtaining the 'right to live and work in the EU'. Can anyone who has non-EU citizenship but has ended up flying for a European airline give me some insight into what it would take to achieve this? Thanks!
 
777PHX
Posts: 442
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:36 am

Re: US Citizen Looking to Attend an Airline Academy/Fly Abroad

Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:07 am

You're going to be on the outside looking in with a lot of those schools because of your citizenship. BA, LH and several of the Asian/Middle Eastern carriers have cadet programs out here at PHX. Can't say I've ever seen an American enrolled in one of them.

Keep in mind, these big airlines are national symbols of pride for a lot of their countries. They're not going to be desperate to hire an expat. If you're dead set on flying for a foreign airline, you might want to get your training in the US, fly regionals for a bit and then try to get on with one of the majors that hires expats like Emirates or Cathay.
 
benjjk
Posts: 259
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:29 am

Re: US Citizen Looking to Attend an Airline Academy/Fly Abroad

Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:55 am

Not sure how much luck you'll have with the EU unless you can get in another way, such as your engineering qualification. But you should keep an eye out for the Singapore and Cathay cadet programs, which are occasionally open to foreigners. Don't quote me on it but I suspect that to get EU rights to work as a pilot without citizenship you will have needed to be flying professionally for a couple of years beforehand.
 
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Starlionblue
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: US Citizen Looking to Attend an Airline Academy/Fly Abroad

Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:10 am

IMHO...

EK, SQ and CX "zero time" cadet programs are extremely unlikely to be open to foreigners (again) due to Immigration authority policies.

Programs which take pilots with CPL MEIR and not much else may be revived if the supply of qualified pilots with ATPLs and turbine time dries up. I wouldn't hold my breath...

As 777PHX says, "fly regionals for a bit". If you have an ATPL and 500+ hours of multi-engine turbine experience, your chances of being hired by the likes of EK, CX increase dramatically.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mmo
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: US Citizen Looking to Attend an Airline Academy/Fly Abroad

Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:33 pm

Was born in Ireland, grew up in the US and have dual citizenship. My route was via the military and then to the airlines. However, I can tell you, without a doubt, you will find it extremely difficult to work in Europe/EU area. I will not say impossible, but I think pigs will fly first.
Unless you have some ancestral claim to an Europe/EU country or marry a national from that country, the current hiring trends would indicate you would never work there. So, the options are to get trained in the US and fly for a regional and then try EK (best bet) or CX. I worked for SQ for a number of years as a Captain and I can tell you your chances of working there as a FO are pretty slim.

My advice would be to get trained in the US, I managed to convert my FAA ticket to a UK CAA several years ago. Once you get your ratings, then fly for a regional and then try to get on with a Major. If you still want to work in Europe, then you'd be better waiting until you are a Capt. Airlines such as TK will hire you (EASA license not needed) or I have seen RyanAir hire "contractors" and obtain a validation for them to work. However, the validation is only valid for a short time and the intention is for you to convert your license to a EASA one.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you would be better off in the US (currently).
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
VSMUT
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: US Citizen Looking to Attend an Airline Academy/Fly Abroad

Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:48 pm

NMA330 wrote:
Hello all!

I am currently in my last year of my engineering program at UT Austin and want to attend an airline academy such as the SAA school in Sweden or another such school which offers a cadet program and a guaranteed job as a first officer upon acceptance and completion of the training program. The hurdle I am unsure how to climb is obtaining the 'right to live and work in the EU'. Can anyone who has non-EU citizenship but has ended up flying for a European airline give me some insight into what it would take to achieve this? Thanks!


There is no such thing as a school that offers guaranteed jobs, and certainly not that SAA school in Sweden, nor anywhere in Europe. It's nothing but hot air and marketing, chances are that less than 10% of graduates actually make it into those "guaranteed" jobs. Given the connections with Norwegian, you will probably be asked to pay for a very expensive type rating (and they throw in a ton of extra courses to jack up the price) before even being offered a position, should you be among the lucky 10%.
My point is, plan for the worst case scenario. Your most realistic way into this career in Europe is with 2-3 years of unemployment, and a self-sponsored type rating on top. Anything better should be a pleasant surprise at best, and not something you plan for.

My experience with schools in Scandinavia is that they all require you to speak a Scandinavian language, and live in a Scandinavian country.

I know plenty of pilots from non-EU countries who work in the EU now, but they were all hired as experienced captains originally.

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