Practise for a Position in the Airline Industry

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What Is the Airline Industry?

The Airline Industry is where passengers receive air transport services. These services are supplied by aircrafts, machines able to fly by gaining support from the air. Often, airline companies within the Airline Industry should receive an air operating certificate or license issued by a government. Airlines are different in size. When they fly short distances within the same country, they are referred to as domestic airlines; when they fly to other countries and continents, they are called full-service international airlines. The Airline Industry can thus be divided into four categories:

  • International – This group includes large planes, usually of more than 130 seats, that fly to any destination in the world. Companies that do international flights have revenue up to $1 billion or more;
  • National – This category comprises aircrafts designed for 100-150 passengers. Airlines in this group have revenue from $100 million to $1 billion.
  • Regional – To this category belong companies that perform short-haul flights and whose revenue is less than $100 million;
  • Cargo – These airlines transport goods.

There are more than 2000 airlines in the world. Together, they operate more than 25 000 aircrafts and provide services to over 3700 airports. On average, there are more than 28 million scheduled flights each year that carry about 2 billion passengers. Growth of world air travel have been averaging about 5% per year for the last thirty years. And annual growth in air travel is expected to double over the next 15 years. 

The Airline Industry in the UK

The United Kingdom’s Aviation Sector is the third largest in the world, smaller only than the airline industries in the USA and China. Although privatized, the British Aviation Industry is regulated not only at the national but also international levels in the areas ranging from safety and security to borders and visas, air traffic control, passenger rights and the environment. The Aviation Sector in the UK is highly important to the blossoming of its economy: it brings to the country around ₤20 billions every year and supports 230,000 jobs. The Aviation Industry also adds ₤52 billion to UK GDP, which is 3.4% of total gross domestic products. The airports in the United Kingdom are considered top ten in the world, supplied as they are with the cutting-edge technology for aviation security and people processing. A large part of the international airline network, the UK’s airports also provide services to the largest 50 airports in the world.

Why to Work in the Aviation Industry?

Working in the Aviation Industry in the United Kingdom is rewarding: it is possible to build an illustrious career there and have generous benefit packages and excellent working conditions. Not only is the industry large, employing more than 961,000 professionals, but it also offers great pays and special travel discounts to all employees and their families.

The Airline Industry does not discriminate against job applicants, hiring people from all social backgrounds and of all ages and experience levels. They also employ people with a wide variety of business skills. The range of job openings available in the Airline Industry is wide. You can apply for technical and skilled positions such as accountants, catering managers, financial experts, airport managers, navigators, engineers, mechanics and attorneys. It is also possible to perform nontechnical jobs in the Airline Sector such as flight attendants, maintenance staff, customer service agents, baggage handlers and airline ticket agents. You can also become a pilot, especially if earlier you have served in the UK Armed Forces and obtained required commercial pilot licenses. Aviation Engineering Specialists are also highly in demand. They work on complex, sophisticated aircrafts and instruments.

What Job Opportunities Are available in the Aviation Sector?

Overall, jobs in the Aviation Industry are divided into the following categories:

  • Ground Handling Services – Into this category fall such professions as aircraft preparations, baggage handling, load planning officer and aircraft dispatcher;
  • Airport Operations – This group contains such occupations as airport duty staff, support officers, airport terminal managers, customer support staff and air traffic control;
  • Airline Operations – This category includes passenger service staff, ground handling, first officer pilot, fight captain, cabin crew officer, and aviation operation passenger services.

You can also become employed as, for example, the Airport Information Assistant, Passenger Services Agent, Terminal Duty Officer, Cabin Crew Member, Passenger Supervisor, Flight Operations Manager, and Ramp Supervisor.

How to Become a Pilot in the Airline Industry?

Those who have worked as pilots in the Armed Forces and want to work in the same role in the Airline Industry should receive a commercial pilot’s license. You can be accepted to work as a pilot in the Airline Industry on the condition that you have served a minimum term in the Armed Forces. The required license is the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Known as a “frozen ATPL,” this license becomes valid, when you have completed certain number of flying hours (a minimum of 195) and have gained required flying experience. Achieving the frozen ARPL may take you from nine to 36 months. If you hold a Private Pilot’s License, Commercial Pilot’s License, in addition to serving in the Armed Forces, you may spend less time on training for the license.  

The training towards the frozen ATPL includes:

  • Flight Principles;
  • Navigation and Communication;
  • Meteorology;
  • Aviation Laws;
  • Operational Procedures;
  • Flight Simulations;
  • Flying Real Aircrafts.

After you have received the “frozen ATPL,” you will enter the Airline Industry as the first officer (co-pilot). Once you have completed required flying hours, you may apply for a full Airline Transport Pilot License and become an airline captain. You will receive the full ATPL after you have flown 1500 hours, 500 of which you fly as a co-pilot. You must also be healthy and at least 21 years old to receive the full ATPL.

If you did not serve in the UK armed Forces, you can take another route to become a Commercial Pilot. You can train at a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved training school. The course usually costs around ₤60,000.

What Skills Should the Pilot Have?

To become a pilot in the Airline Industry, you need to know mathematics and physics well. You need also understand and analyze technical information and know-how your aircraft works. Pilots also should have excellent spatial awareness and coordination. Quick thinking and good decision-making are also crucial qualities for the pilot, just as an ability to work under pressure. Pilots also should be committed to their work and have leadership skills. Good communication skills are a must, since pilots need to give clear commands to their crews.

What Other Roles Are Available in the Airline Industry?

The Air Traffic Controller

Apart from being a pilot, you can perform other important roles in the Airline Industry. One of the crucial position for the efficiency of airports and the industry as a whole is the Air Traffic Controller. Air Traffic Controllers manage flights by using radars and other sophisticated technology. They track planes while they are flying and stay constantly in touch with pilots. You can also be the Area or Terminal Controller, which means that you will control the airspace between airports.  

The Aircraft Engineer

Another important job within the Airline Sector is the Aircraft Engineer. To work in this role, you need to obtain aircraft engineering licenses, either basic or licenses certifying maintenance on specific types of aircrafts. As an Aircraft Engineer, you will fix aircrafts and helicopters, flight simulators, flight components, and instruments. You can also participate in research, testing and developing avionic systems. You may also research how to make fuel-efficient parts such as wings, fuselage, and engines. You may be also expected to carry out ground and flight testing programmes on prototypes. You will also need to have good knowledge of license regulations to sign off projects. Other duties of the Aircraft Engineer may include scheduling and supervising line and base maintenance of aircraft.

To succeed in these roles, you need to possess a specific skill set and particular cognitive abilities. You need to think quickly and work well under pressure, without losing self-control and understanding of the situation. You also need to know mathematics and physics exceptionally well. Other skills and abilities required from employees in the industry are people management, problem-solving, social perceptiveness, critical thinking, control precision, speech clarity, and problem sensitivity. JobtestPrep’s exclusive materials contain a rich arsenal of tests designed to develop these and similar skills and qualities in job applicants. Do not jeopardize your chances of getting hired for your desired position by ignoring our help. Practise with us and increase your chances of being hired in the Airline Industry.

Explore Airlines

Follow the links in the table below to learn more about the application and selection process of some known employers.


JobTestPrep makes an all-out effort to help job applicants to become employed in the Airline Industry. To this end, we have created a comprehensive PrepPack™ including the Pilot Aptitude Assessment, the Numerical, Verbal, and Abstract Reasoning Tests, each of which develops specific skills in job applicants needed in their future work in the Airline Sector. Purchase our high-quality resources and launch an outstanding career in the Airline Industry.