Line Training: to pay or not to pay?


No need for a long introduction – everyone knows about the possibility to get Line Training for a price, which raises long discussions and even bigger dissatisfaction feedback. While the public divides to those who sell the opportunities and those who are angry about such opportunities, there are those who simply silently take such opportunities.

But let’s get back to the topic, and look through all the “yea and nay” arguments about the paid Line Training.

Line Training – what exactly is it?

The term Line Training is widely used and most of us could ensure knowing what it is. But is it so? Do we really know what that means? According to the Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 Line Training, or line flying under supervision, is mandatory for all the pilots and must be followed with the line check. There is no specified amount of hours for line flying – it absolutely depends from the policy of the airline company how much hours you have to fly before your line check. However most airlines who offer Line Training, offer at least 300 up to 500 hours. Which means that for the requested price you will get the mandatory line flying and additional hours of… time building into your logbook. What that means to you?

  1. you will get the mandatory training.
  2. you will collect the vital flying hours to enroll with your pilot career. And if you checked (which of course you did), the pilot job advertisements you know, that 500 flying hours are the minimum requirement for the first officer position. 

Obviously the need of current discussion shows that simple fact of possibility to collect flight hours for a price is not enough. Okay, let’s move forward.

Why should you pay if airline can pay for you?

Let’s stop right here. Let us note that today we are not getting into the whole new discussion as of why in general “pay to fly” opportunities appeared on the market. TODAY we are trying to analyze such opportunities.

Okay, so the most important question of the paid Line Training: why should you pay?

Let’s look from the other perspective. The perspective where the airline pays for your Line Training. So you just finished your Ab Initio training, the airline hires you and decides to pay for your Type Rating and Line Training. Theoretically, keep in mind that your Line training will consist of about 100 hours.

Have you ever thought of what comes next?

There is no need to mention that 100 hours of flying won’t make a huge breakdown in your career. You need to fly more.

And you will do that, because when entering the airline you will most likely sign an agreement which indicates some sort of liabilities for you and concessions for the company. For example you commit to fly for a few years with that airline, or some amount of hours. And if you are lucky, you will collect that amount of hours in a year and if not – two, three, maybe more?

Another piece to this puzzle – while you will be fulfilling your obligations to the company you will most likely be experiencing salary deduction from your monthly payment. And that salary will most likely be a minimum wage. The exact amount of it will depend on the airline policy, but nevertheless, the Line Training that you considered free ends up being paid for.

What’s the difference you ask?

Let’s assume that from the money perspective, self-sponsored and airline-sponsored Line Training opportunities are more or less similar. What differences may hold these options?

Probably the biggest difference is independence. Once you have liabilities with the airline which paid for your training and provided Line Training, you are absolutely in their service. Basically you will fly at any time to any destinations. Which is absolutely fine, unless you are not a fan of such “control”. On the other hand if you choose paid Line Training you gain the “luxury” of choosing the airline which you would love to work for and ability to focus on the job which will bring you everyday pleasure.

Dear readers, we see a great interest in this topic. Therefore we intend to continue analyzing it from various perspectives. If you have a story about paid Line Training to share with us, please do not hesitate and contact us at [email protected] with a subject line: Line Training story.