British Airways Speedbird Self-Sponsored Pathway

Are you dreaming of a career in the skies? As a proud British Airways partner, Leading Edge Aviation is working with British Airways, to bring you an unparalleled opportunity to become a commercial pilot through a British Airways self-funded programme, Speedbird Self-Sponsored Pathway (SSP). This unique programme offers you a direct path to the flightdeck of one of the world’s leading airlines.

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So how does it work?

British Airways have launched SSP, their Self-Sponsored programme to recruit pilots for BA Mainline and EuroFlyer. To be successful you will need to pass an initial assessment with British Airways, followed by a comprehensive skills assessment with Leading Edge Aviation or another selected BA training partner.

Successful candidates will receive a conditional job offer from British Airways and a training place with your chosen training organisation. Your progress will be closely monitored by British Airways throughout your training to ensure you meet the criteria set out in your conditional offer.

This pathway demands excellence and dedication, offering a direct route into a career as a commercial pilot with British Airways upon successful completion.


Applications are now closed, however create an alert here via the British Airways website to be notified when they reopen! 

Here is what the Application Process will look like:

  1. Apply online
    • Answer screening questions
    • Upload your CV
    • Complete some online testing
  2. Video interview
  3. Skills Assessment with us*
  4. In Person assessment at BA
*Please note that if you have already booked or passed your skills assessment with us, you are still able to apply for the SSP.

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Don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful with BA Self-Funded Speedbird place, you can still apply for our LEAP integrated course.  Leading Edge Aviation has recruitment relationships with all leading airlines and our graduate services team will work with you to help you secure your first role.  So get in touch and start your journey to the cockpit today.

Why chooseLeading Edge for your pilot training?

British Airways - Speedbird Self Sponsored Pathway FAQs

I have already applied to Leading Edge Aviation Academy can I still apply?

Yes, you can! You can retrospectively apply to British Airways and can complete your assessments with British Airways either before or after you have started with Leading Edge.

What does it mean to get a “conditional offer” from British Airways?

Once you have finished your flight training, you will be offered a job with British Airways so long as you meet the conditions they set out. Some of these conditions may include; meeting the eligibility requirements, such as 85% or above in Ground School, including no more than 3 resits, First series passes in flight tests (please read on to find out what a ‘first series pass” is).

What does a good application look like?
  • A personalised CV that reflects the values of British Airways (do your research and look at the JD for info)
  • No spelling mistakes or grammatical errors – Grammarly is a good tool.
  • All documents sent to the airline MUST be saved as a PDF
  • Please do not use AI to write your CV. BA have software that identifies this – remember people buy from people!
What details must I include?
  • Any information the airline ask for (saved in the correct format)
  • You may be asked to write an essay question – take your time (over the course of several days), create a plan for your answer, do your research and write it in word (or similar program). Do not mark your own homework, get a friend or family member to read through it before submitting it. Make sure you check for grammatical errors.
  • You may be asked some filter questions. Consider these answers carefully as your application may not be progressed if you choose the wrong answers.
What should my CV look like?
  • Consult our CV Guides on the VLE under Graduate Services
  • DO NOT use the Leading Edge Template for your CV – we recommend creating something individual and personalised
What do First Time Pass, First Series and Second Series mean?

A first-time pass is exactly what it says on the tin. You passed that test on the first time of asking.

A first series, sometimes known as a “partial” means that you didn’t pass all areas of the proficiency check and you needed to re-sit that particular area.

If you for whatever reason you failed your flying test, or you subsequently failed your resit, this becomes a Second series.

This campaign is for BA EuroFlyer at LGW, will I be able to join British Airways mainline at LHR eventually?

Yes – BA EuroFlyer is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Airways (set up slightly differently to BA CityFlyer). Pilots joining BA EuroFlyer will join the master seniority list and will be able to transfer to LHR in seniority order in due course. It is anticipated that the timeline for this would normally be around 6 years, however as always in the aviation world, things change. Some people have been randomly selected for BA Mainline.

I am nervous about the Video Interview, do you have any tips?

The video interview is not a 1:1 Interview, it is an online platform to record your answers – you will not be speaking to a person (but a person will review this video). This can be off-putting for some people and for those who feel they may fall into that category; we recommend putting a picture of someone familiar behind the camera (perhaps on the wall but next to the camera) and looking at that picture when answering. We recommend treating this like an in-person interview and preparing appropriately. We also recommend dressing appropriately… SMART, and please consider your background. These little things do make a big difference.

You will be given 3 questions to answer, and you will be given time to look at the question, come up with a few notes to help you generate an appropriate answer, and only when ready, you will then click to record your answers. Usually, you get an opportunity to record it twice (should you not be happy with your first answer).

BA will want to see passion for the BA Brand, a real sense that you know who and what BA is all about (the customer experience), an appreciation for the differences between British Airways and British Airways EuroFlyer (a wholly owned subsidiary) and that you have done some research (remember this shows motivation).

Dress smartly – if possible, wear a tie (look like a professional pilot)

  • Take your time. Normally you get an opportunity to think about your answers before delivering.
  • Deliver with a smile – this is the first-time people will see you – first impressions do count and a smile goes a long way!
  • Talk lots about the customer – British Airways is a very customer centric operation
  • Talk about the BA brand
  • Consider talking about flexibility, one team ethos, being customer focussed – such as being present with the customers on delays, inviting customers to the flight deck, and not just sitting in the flight deck with the door closed, raising morale of the team you’re working with, leading a positive work culture
  • Sustainability is a very hot topic at the moment. Look into what BA are doing and consider ways that you as a pilot can impact this. By all means talk about fuel, but consider other avenues to sustainability, such as reduction of plastic, equality and diversity, corporate social responsibility, carbon reduction/offset and investing into community projects – BA Better World is a good place to look when doing your research
  • Consider the promotion opportunities
  • Research why British Airways EuroFlyer was created and what it has done to remain competitive at LGW
  • Who is the customer at EuroFlyer/Mainline/CityFlyer?