Who is behind PilotsTogether?

The charity was set up and is being run by a group of people who want to make sure pilots who are being made redundant because of the Covid-19 crisis have somewhere to turn. This group includes current pilots and other individuals. For more information on our Trustees, please visit: https://pilotstogether.org/our-team/

Why only pilots?

We recognise that many other airline colleagues will face considerable hardship during this crisis, but to create the greatest impact for our peer group, PilotsTogether will focus on the pilot community. The specific challenges faced by this group will need a specific type of support, which we will aim to provide.

What specific challenges do these pilots face?

In addition to the shock and anxiety triggered by redundancy, many pilots are left with high levels of debt. In the UK it can cost in excess of £130,000 to train to become a commercial pilot. Many years ago, airlines used to cover these costs, but today pilots self-fund with loans. The majority of redundant pilots are going to be unable to pay off flight training loans as well as other financial commitments.

Pilots also dedicate many years to qualifying – and maintaining these qualifications. The tremendous investment pilots put into building the technical skills needed to fly often leaves them feeling pigeon-holed into a very niche profession. In addition to this, regulations require that pilots specialise in flying certain aircraft types, meaning that they can’t simply fly a different type of aircraft – not without investing even more time and money in training.

Many pilots feel as if their experience leaves them with no career options as pilots or transferable skills relevant outside the profession. We disagree with this and believe that pilots are highly employable across a range of jobs. We will work with pilots to build their confidence, bolster their CVs, and help them find bridging work until they can one day return.

In addition to this, unless pilots maintain a certain number of training/flying hours, licenses can lapse and stop them from flying – thereby preventing them from easily returning to the cockpit as airlines recover. Training sims are an important way pilots can keep their hours up, but they are prohibitively expensive for individuals to access on their own (often costing almost £1000 an hour).  We will work with pilots to help provide access to training sims at heavily discounted or subsidised rates.

Why start with pilots from only one airline?

Numerous airlines have announced pilot redundancies and there may be more to come. As a new charity, we initially focused our efforts on pilots from one national carrier in the UK. We are confident that our processes have worked with that one airline and we now welcome interest from pilots from other carriers who are interested in joining us to represent their airlines, and for those affected by the current crisis who worked for any airline in the UK.

What are the long-term risks to the profession?

We worry that even as the industry recovers and people get back in the air, the long-term impact will be detrimental to diversity and inclusion in the profession. With high barriers to entry, such as the cost of qualifying, what pilots are experiencing today could deter future generations and put them off considering the profession. Young people from underrepresented groups or underprivileged backgrounds who don’t have access to the necessary financial resources may be put off even dreaming about becoming a pilot if the risks appear too high. It is critical that we come together today to support our peers and ensure that it attracts the best possible talent from the next generation.

I want to help. How do I get involved?

In addition to financial contributions, we will need volunteers to help us help others. This is a peer-to-peer charity, so we need support from current members of the pilot community in particular – and their supporters. Get in touch if you can help with any of the following:

  • Job opportunities – you can add these directly on to the site here
  • Funds – complete the Donation Form now
  • Discount or special offer on a service or item – add your offer here
  • Help and advice on training / licencing- you can add your services here
  • Wellbeing and mental health guidance – complete the form here
  • Career advice and guidance – add an offer here
  • CV development support – add an offer here

If you’d like to discuss any offer before submitting it on the site please complete the form here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How do I make a financial donation?

We can accept financial donations straight to our bank account which can go directly to supporting our colleagues. You’ll find the donation form here.

I’m from a different airline. What can I do?

If you are a current pilot and would like impacted pilots from your airline to be included, please contact us so we can discuss options. In order to expand to other airlines, we need as much support from current pilots in those airlines as possible.

If you used to work as a pilot in the UK, you can now register to access this site and its services. We will need proof of your status and qualifications.