Lufthansa restarts mainline pilot recruitment

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Lufthansa is to set resume ab-initio pilot training after freezing recruitment of cadets for its in-house flight academy for more than a year.

The German flag carrier plans to enrol 120 trainee pilots next year. These recruits will proceed from the Bremen academy to Lufthansa's flight-training campus in Phoenix, Arizona.

Intake could be increased if economic conditions are favourable, the airline says.

Additionally, Lufthansa wants to recruit 200 qualified pilots for its mainline operations and subsidiaries, including low-cost arm Germanwings, in 2014.

The group is currently recruiting pilots only for Germanwings, the fleet of which is growing to around 90 aircraft as Lufthansa transfers all European traffic outside the main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich to the budget carrier. Germanwings has thus far employed 147 qualified pilots in 2013.

Lufthansa stopped recruiting cadets for its flight-training academy in August 2012, although the selection process and aptitude tests continued for future applicants.

The airline has slightly amended its pilot-training programme. All future trainees will have to undertake one or two four-month internships in ground operations across the group before their final type-rating simulator training.

These paid placements are intended to absorb potential waiting times before the new pilots can start flying line operations, but also broaden trainees' understanding of the carrier’s ground processes, the airline says.