As aviation continues to deal with a global pilot shortage, major airlines like Emirates, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic are holding recruitment drives to fill First Officer vacancies for Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Dubai-based Emirates is looking for First Officers for its Airbus A380 and Boeing B777 fleet. According to its website, the airline requires pilots with experience on multi-engine, multi-crew aircraft  with a minimum of 2000 flying hours on Maximum Takeoff Weight  (MTOW) of more than 20T or minimum of 3000 flying hours on MTOW between 10T and 20T.

An AED 30,826 (approx. USD 8,393) tax-free monthly salary, company provided accommodation, and education allowance for up to three children are among the perks listed in the lucrative employment package Emirates hopes will entice eligible First Officers from around the world. 

The airline is holding a pilot recruitment roadshow at Manchester Airport, Luton North Airport, and Gatwick Airport from August 11-13, 2022.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has opened up recruitment for First Officers across both its Airbus and Boeing fleets for the first time since 2020.  

When flying started to return after the pandemic, Virgin Atlantic created a holding pool to welcome back pilots and cabin crew. All the holding pool pilots who passed interviews have re-joined or have confirmed start dates, and Virgin Atlantic is now ready to restart external recruitment. 

The airline anticipates it will need 100 additional pilots by Summer 2023 with a further 60 by Summer 2024 and a further 40 by Summer 2025.

British Airways is also recruiting direct entry First Officers for its Heathrow and Crawley  (EuroFlyer) hubs in the UK. 

The British flag carrier requires pilots to have current type rating with a minimum of 500 hours or 100 sectors on a Zero Flight Time qualifying aircraft.  

The vacancies have arisen with the growth of the airline’s London City schedule and increased regional flying from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Stansted and Edinburgh airports this year.

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Boeing has estimated that 602,000 new pilots, 610,000 new MRO technicians and 899,000 new cabin crew members will be needed by 2041.