Wizz Air has revealed its huge plans for pilot recruitment in the coming decade. The carrier is already sitting on 150 trained pilots ready for deployment this summer, with another 300 hires set to take place in the next four months. In total, Wizz has an ambitious goal of hiring 4,600 pilots by 2030 to meet its huge growth targets.
These days, the future of the aviation industry can look bleak in certain regions around the world, especially in the short term. However, that doesn’t mean things will always remain this bad. A few airlines during the pandemic have used the chance to expand their reach and are looking for new crew members to achieve their targets.
One of these airlines is undoubtedly Wizz Air, which has added dozens of new bases in 2020-21 and is now looking to staff up. In a statement today, the airline has set a target for new pilot hirings by 2030, with 4,600 new pilots joining the airline in under nine years.
Currently, Wizz operates flights from 49 countries, flying to 191 destinations and 800 routes. While some bases are much larger than others, the news means there will be job opportunities across Europe, the Middle East, and possibly Africa in the coming years. Moreover, newer markets like South Asia and beyond could be opening up too.
The carrier is inviting existing captains, first officers, as well as new recruits to join the airline. There is a rigorous hiring process, which includes physical and mental fitness in addition to general skills. However, it’s clear that the airline is serious about boosting its crew presence soon.
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This isn’t an announcement about future jobs or pilot shortages while hiring freezes remain in place. Indeed, Wizz Air plans to hire 300 new pilots by the end of the year alone to meet its current goal. Currently, there are 150 pilots already trained and ready to fly once Wizz exceeds its pre-pandemic capacity, hopefully by later this summer.
It’s important to note that the training program for pilots costs €13,950 ($16,467), with a slight reduction for those with previous training. Newly minted cadets right now make slightly more than this fee, with a starting salary of around €17,000 ($20,000), according to Aerotime. While this is lower than before the pandemic, salaries will hopefully increase in the next few years.
In a statement about the hirings, Wizz COO Heiko Holm said,
“We are pleased to be recruiting for thousands of new pilot positions at an exciting time for Wizz Air, as we continue to grow our presence across Europe and beyond. At WIZZ, we are proud of the excellent opportunities, competitive salary, and compensation and benefits package available to our flight crew, as well as flexible and fixed roster patterns to allow for an improved work-life balance.”
After mass layoffs across Europe and scores of pilots out of work, Wizz Air is offering a rare path back into the industry during the pandemic.
What do you think about Wizz Air’s hiring plans for the decade? Will they achieve them? Let us know in the comments!