British Airways has reported that it will fund flying lessons for 200 students across the UK during 2020 to inspire them to reach for the skies. It follows a trial of the programme this year in partnership with The Air League Trust, when in celebration of its centenary, the airline funded lessons for students who would not normally be able to enjoy this experience at Booker Aviation Flying School in High Wycombe.
The airline has pledged to finance 200 more flying lessons for 2020 after the success of the scheme and will extend the program across several flying schools across the UK to ensure that the project reaches an even wider range of youth. Thousands of students applied for places on this year’s program via British Airways ‘ job website and the final 200 were selected based on their interest and flying excitement, ensuring that a diverse range of young people, including young women, were given the opportunity.
For more than 30 years, the airline has been hiring female pilots and the number of female flight crew at British Airways currently reaches 6 percent, almost double the national average. The lessons were designed to give a taste of life in the cockpit to the next generation of pilots and to prove that they were beyond their control. Angela Williams, director of people at British Airways said: “We know how important it is to introduce young people, especially young women, to early-age aviation to encourage them to pursue a cockpit career, and that is why I am delighted that we are extending this ground-breaking flying project to young people in the UK by 2020.”
For 600 students undertaking a week-long internship at British Airways across 25 divisions, British Airways welcomed more young people on work experience this year than ever before, in addition to the flying lessons.