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5 Reasons to Join a Spanish Airline as a Pilot


The Spanish aviation market is reaching new heights, with 24.3 million passengers passing through the Spanish airport operator, Aena network, in June, 211,768 aircraft in operation and 80,068 tonnes of cargo transported. Amid such vivid signals of recovery, we encourage you to take the idea of becoming a pilot and joining one of the country’s airlines seriously, and here is why.

1. A pilot is one of the highest-paying jobs in Spain.

The income level of pilots in Spain is somewhat similar to that of surgeons, orthodontists, judges and others. According to Economic Research Institute, the average salary of a pilot in Spain is €68,554 per annum. Also, a pilot is considered a high bonus-based job — the average is €2,571. However, the actual figure greatly depends on the exact airline, location, education and experience (the latter is the most crucial determining factor). It is forecasted that the average pilot salary will reach €74,216 by 2027. It is worth noting that this sum is something senior-level pilots already earn these days.

2. Spanish airlines are growing and expanding.

For example, Iberia, the largest in Spain and the country’s flag carrier, at the beginning of 2022, had 31 aircraft commitments, with nearly half of them — 15 A320neos and A350-900s expected by the end of 2022. The renewal of Iberia’s 100-aircraft strong fleet could include some of the up to 150 B737 MAXes that IAG ordered in May. IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups involving Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia Express, LEVEL and Vueling.

Volotea, a Spanish low-cost airline registered in Castrillón, Asturias, in 2022, executed a historical development in Europe and France. It opened a new base in Lille on April 1, 2022, and is planning to play an active role in the economic and social development of the territories by creating jobs in the regions where it operates.

3. Cheap or free flights and other perks.

Many low-cost airlines operate in Spain, and employee benefits in such airlines might be much more interesting than you think. Perks such as life insurance, a share plan, a pension contribution scheme and discounts on goods and services are only a few examples of what you can get on top of your fixed salary and bonus (differs from airline to airline).

For instance, Vueling, the largest airline in Spain, measured by fleet size and the number of destinations, has a long list of employee benefits published on its main website. It offers cheaper flights with Vueling and more than 90 long-haul and short-haul airlines, over 400 discounts on technology, sports, training, etc. and flexible benefits for services like meals, childcare and transport, to name a few.

4. One of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe.

There are at least eight leading airlines based in Spain, which you can choose from and live in this country permanently without facing high living expenses. If you are not a Spanish local, one of the most irresistible reasons to move there is the cheap cost of living. If you’re by yourself, you can live on €1000 per month in Spain. It includes room rent, groceries, health insurance, occasional use of public transport, eating out a few times a month and shopping moderately. At the same time, families with children should budget a minimum of €2,200 per month. Of course, the cost of living also depends on the city you decide to live in. Madrid and Barcelona are typically expensive, whereas living in Valencia is more affordable, and in Malaga, it is the cheapest.

5. Many Spanish airlines have open cadet programs.

The ultimate goal of any fresh pilot is to officially join the airline and start collecting the flight hours and work experience as soon as possible, which many Spanish airlines can offer through their cadet programs. If you are a fresh starter, join a cadet program to get a letter of intent from an airline that shows their intention to hire you if you prove to be a good student. In simple terms, you do not have to complete stage after stage (initial and then Type Rating and Base training). Instead, you enroll in the program that covers all plus guarantees employment (subject to your performance).

BAA Training has two cadet programs with two Spanish airlines. Both don’t require any previous aviation experience and will help you reach the First Officer’s seat in as little as 23 months! The airlines have bases in Spain, Italy, France and Greece. Do you imagine being based in one of these countries where sunshine is all-year-round? Get in touch, and let’s talk about your options.

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