Ryanair Launches Major Pilot Training Programme in Cork

Ryanair, Ireland’s No.1 airline, today (14 Sept) announced a major new training partnership with Cork-based international flight school, Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) to deliver the Ryanair/AFTA Mentored Pilot Programme. This new 16-month intensive training programme gives trainee pilots a structured path to achieve their pilot licence and reach a standard where they are ready to join the Ryanair Boeing 737 type rating programme. Trainee pilots on Mentored Pilot Programme will be trained by AFTA instructors using Ryanair procedures as they take their first steps towards becoming Ryanair pilots. Over the next 5 years up to 450 new pilots from all over Europe will be recruited and trained by AFTA in Cork which underlines AFTA’s global position in the pilot training market.

An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, officially launched the pilot training partnership in Cork this morning, which will ensure Ryanair continues to attract highly trained professional pilots to support its continued growth across Europe.

Ryanair offers unparalleled career opportunities for new pilots, with:

  • Industry leading training standards and success rates
  • The best rosters in European Aviation – 5 days on followed by 4 days off
  • Huge earning potential (up to €200k on to Captain within 4-5yrs)
  • 86 Bases across 37 countries
  • Young modern fleet including the state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX Gamechanger

Ryanair also launched its Cork summer 2019 schedule, with 4 new routes to TBC, London Luton, Malta and Poznan, 16 routes in total, and more flights to Malaga, which will deliver 1.1m customers through Cork Airport next year, as Ryanair grows its Cork traffic by 20%.

An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, said:

“Ryanair is one of Ireland’s world class business successes and this announcement confirming the next generation of Ryanair pilots will be trained in Cork is a most welcome one. I hope many will be based in Cork when they qualify to fly on the new routes announced from Cork Airport. Atlantic Flight Training Academy has also established itself as an industry leader in training and this announcement confirms that. Finally, to the 450 trainees who will launch their careers from here, I wish you every success.”


Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs, said:

Ryanair is pleased to announce this training partnership with AFTA which has an impressive track record in training top-class pilots to the highest standards. This partnership, along with our biggest ever Cork Summer 2019 schedule with 16 routes, including 4 exciting new routes to TBC, London Luton, Malta and Poznan, further cements our commitment to the Munster region. Our Summer 2019 schedule will deliver 1.1m customers p.a. at Cork airport, all at the lowest fares, as we continue to grow Cork routes, traffic, tourism and jobs.

To celebrate we are releasing seats for sale from Cork from just €16.99 for travel until November, which are available for booking until midnight Sunday (16 Sep). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”

Ryanair’s Deputy Director of Flight Operations, Neal McMahon said:

“The new Ryanair-AFTA programme will provide us with a steady pipeline of talented and professional pilots from around Europe to meet the needs of our growing network. Ryanair will hire up to 1,000 pilots per annum over the next 5 years and our pilots can look forward to unmatched opportunities flying with the World’s number 1 international airline.”

Ryanair’s Head of Crew Training Captain Andy O’Shea said:

“We have carefully chosen AFTA as our cadet training partner in Ireland due to their high standards in initial flying training and MCC training. We are very pleased to lend our operational expertise to AFTA especially in the provision of what will be an outstanding Airline Pilot Standard MCC. This combination will be the best possible preparation for an airline career with Ryanair.”

Mark Casey, Managing Director at AFTA, said:

“We are delighted to be chosen as the mentored pilot programme partner for Ryanair in Ireland. AFTA has a long-standing relationship with Ryanair and a large number of our graduates currently fly as First officers, Captains, Training Captains and management pilots with the airline. The “Mentored Pilot Programme” will give successful applicants accepted on the Ryanair Mentored Pilot Programme a clear path towards a long and successful career as a Ryanair pilot.. Ryanair’s training department is recognised as the best in the industry and mentored Cadets will have access to Ryanair training applications and systems from commencement of training.”

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