The IAGO Thomas Cook Airlines UK Platinum pilot scheme
The IAGO Platinum Pilot Scheme is a partnership between IAGO and Thomas Cook Airlines that provides a new way of recruiting and training pilots. Apart from an initial fee for the recruitment days, all training costs are met by IAGO during your initial Type Rating (TR). Once the TR is complete, there is a 3-year bond and new cadets start on a 7/5 permanent contract for the first 2 years.
We chat with James Vaughan who is currently in the scheme to tell us more…
What makes it different to other pilot training schemes out there?
It’s a fantastic opportunity for newly qualified pilots to complete an Airbus A321 or Boeing 757/767 TR without any upfront costs. The understanding from the IAGO and Thomas Cook Airlines that pilots have already had to pay large sums of money to complete their training up to this point is a step away from the norm and is the only scheme of its type on the market to date.
Other airlines and training providers ask pilots to pay significant amounts for their training in addition to the fee pilot’s have already paid for their initial training. By not asking for applicants to pay immediately, allows for a larger pool of potential candidates and increases the overall standard.
The evidence is there to suggest this is working, as there have been successful candidates from various backgrounds including Modular/Integrated cadets as well as ex- military, Turbo prop and Business Jet pilots.
What is your experience so far?
It is the first year of the scheme but every expectation I have had up to now, has been surpassed by both IAGO and Thomas Cook Airlines.
I applied for the scheme in October 2016. Having been successful during the recruitment process I was offered a course start date by the end of the month. Less than 3 months later and I have just started Line Training; everything is moving along quickly which is brilliant. The IAGO team, as well as the instructors, provide a lot of support and motivation during the training. We were using the new Thomas Cook Airlines’ SOP’s from the beginning, which has really helped the integration process.
The contact we had with Thomas Cook Airlines was fantastic as it made you feel part of the company from the very beginning. It has also helped introduce us to members of the management team and made the transition from the IAGO TR to Thomas Cook Airlines LST/OPC and Line Training seamless.
Overall my experience of the IAGO Platinum Pilot Scheme has been excellent. Through feedback and further improvements the scheme is going to help Thomas Cook Airlines to recruit the most suitable and motivated candidates. I really hope other airlines will follow this trend for pilot recruitment in the future.
What are the advantages of partnering with IAGO?
Having IAGO provide the course for new pilots reduces the training requirement for Thomas Cook Airlines. It allows new recruits to be trained and ready to start for the busy summer season.
How long has the pilot scheme been running?
The scheme has been running for just 5 months now so it is still new and very exciting.
How can aspiring pilots apply for this course?
You can apply for the IAGO Platinum scheme via the IAGO website www.iagoplatinum.com. The scheme is due to re-open in Summer 2017 so keep up to date with any changes and be sure to apply as soon as you can!
What are the minimum requirements for applicants?
The minimum requirements for the course are to have a valid Class 1 Medical, current CPL ME/IR and MCC/JOC.
How many cadets have been through the scheme?
As of February 2017 there have been 30 successful new entrants starting on both the Airbus A321 and Boeing 757/767.