Modular v Integrated Training for the airline world

The airlines don’t tend to want that (my) type of experience any more. That’s not sour grapes, it’s based on talking to those in my type of job with a lot of hours on MEP, who apply day in day out to the airlines, yet are regularly beaten to those positions by those coming out of integrated schemes set up to train pilots the way the airlines dictate. I know I’m not your typical wannabe, having gained 600 hours of fun filled flying before I decided to make the leap, I just think it is important that people know the world has changed. If I was starting from scratch now with my eyes on an airline position, albeit with the benefit of hindsight, I would go the integrated route.

I also appreciate that there are ways in for those with non jet experience, through FlyBe for example at the moment, but those places are limited. They are taking a lot of more experienced guys as they have their own MPL cadets going through the system. AIUI they need guys with a few hours to get over to the left hand seat a little quicker than a cadet. So no good for the likes of the OP with 250 hours.

From my personal perspective I’m not bothered any more. I’m on a reasonable salary, the flying is fun and all by hand rather than autopilot, which suits me. I’ll never command the salary of a captain at the likes of BA, Monarch or others and I shall probably have to rely on the state pension when I stop work. I’m still paying off money borrowed when I ran out of it towards he end of my training (though chicken feed to the amounts talked about here for integrated training) and have only in the last 6 months managed to buy a modest property. I may end up flying a biz jet, however I may well not.

The allure of the airline world will always attract copious numbers and money is a lot easier to find with the wealthier world we live in now.

What I don’t think is fair is selling the modular route as giving an equal chance. IMHO it doesn’t. Those starting out do need to be aware of the risks involved. I see too many (through my instructing and the applications we receive every day) who have been led to believe that gaining that licence will result in a job. Sadly for too many it does not, not even for those from integrated schools.

Some of those who do not gain immediate employment (within 6 months or so) will drift into instructing, some will simply give up. There as plenty of disillusioned instructors around hoping for their first break in the jet world. Disillusioned instructors are the last thing the industry wants. Thankfully there are plenty who are not so disillusioned.

Would I do it all again? To be sure I would!

I shall end on a smile. Yesterday I was flying a low level run at a very large international airport. As I pulled up abeam one of the holding points the airline pilot at the hold said “Gee that looks like fun, I’d love to do that!” My answer was simply “Well you can’t” 😋


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