May 17, 2018 / 11:41 AM / 7 months ago

easyJet to help small number of pilots with cost of training

FILE PHOTO: An easyJet Airbus A319-100 plane taxis at Lisbon's airport, Portugal April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LONDON (Reuters) - British budget airline easyJet has said it will cut the cost of training for a small number of pilots as part of a drive to attract a more diverse range of people to fly its planes.

Flight schools and airlines are moving to sponsor more courses, or cut the cost of training, amidst a global shortage of trained pilots.

Newly qualified pilots who are chosen will have to pay 9,900 euros (8,648 pounds) for their so-called type rating course, with easyJet making up the balance of the bill, which is typically around 30,000 pounds.

A type rating determines which kind of planes pilots can fly - a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 at Europe’s low cost carriers Ryanair and easyJet respectively - and is sought by pilots after they gain their airline transport licence.

easyJet said that the funding of up to 20 places for female or male pilots from different countries and backgrounds would help broaden the diversity of its pilots, building on an existing initiative to increase its number of female pilots.

“We’re pleased to announce that we’re part-funding a small number of type ratings for pilots yet to get their big break into commercial aviation,” the letter said.

easyJet’s bigger rival Ryanair announced funding help for new pilots to fly its planes after it cancelled flights last year due to a lack of standby pilots.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison

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