Frequently Asked Questions
Taking into account COVID19 situation, when are you realistically estimating the funding scheme will be open for an application?
COVID19 has sent a shockwave through the aviation industry, with many pilots and families devastated at being made redundant or furloughed. Many tens of thousands of pilots will be available to Airlines when the industry and passenger traffic recovers. These will be re-employed quickly by Airlines and the sooner that happens the better, for so many people’s sake.
Initial pilot training and recruitment will follow this employment surge. Indications are that the pool of available qualified pilots will not meet Operator demand when that upswing occurs. This is good news for people starting professional pilot training (yes, there are people starting their training right now) and those considering a future as an airline pilot. It will take 24 months to qualify as an airline pilot. This means that someone starting in January 2021 will be qualified in January 2023. This means that they will be on target to be employed by airlines to fill cockpits in summer 2023.
To fund this as a ‘whitetail’ student (not associated with a specific airline) will be tricky right now because banks are reluctant to lend into the aviation industry. APC is aware of this and has made available to members, 3 types of ‘retail’ insurance policies. Please note that these policies are only available to APC members who have completed the full AON assessment suite of test to an acceptable standard. The annual premium will be very affordable and a tiny fraction of the overall cost of your training.
- Loss of Training Cost
- Loss of Licence
- Earnings Continuance
The loss of training cost insurance can be set up so that a bank can be a signed payee in the event of something happening to prevent qualification. This will assist you to put a standard finance package together. This policy will transform into a loss of licence policy upon qualification. Again, the bank can be a signed payee on this loss of licence policy. The Earnings Continuance insurance will be available when you have an airline career up and running. The great majority of airline pilots have a loss of licence insurance and an earnings continuance insurance policy,
We and our partner ATOs are in discussions with airlines who will be planning their future pilot intake during 2021. With these, we will work to deploy the full AON System for pilot funding, which will require completion of AON Assessments, attendance at an APC approved ATO and offers of assessment/employment by the airline. This is our goal and, together with AON, we are determined to make it available to you.
APC membership will be open in November 2020. As a member you will get our full support and guidance to make sure that you have every chance to fulfil your potential and to secure funding with our help.
When the scheme does open is it going to enable candidates to start applying to ATOs and financing straight away or will it build up to that sometime in the future?
For unsecured loans, we will need all the elements of the AON system in place. That includes an airline who is offering assessments or employment to students who qualify through the system. It is too early to expect that airlines will be in the ab-initio market in 2020 but we anticipate that in 2021, airlines will start planning and will be putting in place training programs. Our partner ATOs are perfectly placed to catch this ab-initio training wave. Plus, together with AON and its huge client list, we will be working with airlines to introduce them to our partner ATOs and then to you, as an APC member.
For standard loans to fund your training, we believe that our insurance policies are the perfect means to give you some peace of mind during your training, and later as a qualified pilot with a loss of licence insurance policy. These policies will be available to APC members as soon as the club opens for membership.
What academies are considered to be on the list of the potential approved ATOs? Are there any confirmed ATOs?
Our ATOs are well known and range from very large schools to an FSTD equipped ATO that offers excellent APS MCC training. All our ATO partners have a proven track record of excellent training and placement of successful students into well known airlines.
Considering tough EU regulations on unsecured loans, does it mean that the ATOs will have to be abroad? Outside of the EU?
Managing the loan from the bank to the student will be a complex operation. Lending will be fully compliant with all regulations in all jurisdictions and will be managed entirely by the bank in the system.
What is the minimum academic criteria to apply?
There is no minimum academic criteria required by pilot training regulations. However, we in APC will always advocate that anyone thinking of becoming an airline pilot should complete a range of assessments – like the Indicative Assessment and the full AON suite of assessments, before entering an ATO for pilot training.
Will the candidate be able to attain full funding for the course including living costs?
This detail will need to be confirmed. However, if the bank is prepared to lend to you on the basis of the AON funding system, it is reasonable to expect that an element of that loan could be used to pay for living expenses.
The APC/AON loss of training cost insurance policy covers £120,000 of training cost and £5,000 of accommodation costs.
What will the repayment schedule look like and will there be a repayment holiday while the student is studying?
Subject to individual bank arrangements, the loan repayments will not commence until after qualification and then after a further period during which the successful candidate would be expected to look for an airline pilot job.
The repayment schedule will vary, but the low interest environment that the world’s financial markets are enjoying right now will be reflected in the cost of borrowing. In addition, the banks will review each applicant’s situation and will most likely adjust the repayment based on a credit risk assessment.
What happens if a course is delayed?
The repayments commence after qualification and a short repayment holiday.
Are both Ab-initio and Modular courses considered for the funding scheme?
We must anticipate that the unsecured loan schemes will be associated with an airline offer of assessment or employment to the successful student. In our experience, such a student will be on an Integrated ATPL or MPL course. If an airline were to offer Modular students this assessment or offer of employment, then the lending would apply to Modular students.
Realistically, we do not anticipate that a bank will provide an unsecured loan to a Modular student who is not on an Operator-specific training program with a firm offer of assessment or employment. Modular students who are on an airline-specific mentored pilot scheme, such as the Ryanair Mentored Pilot scheme, should be able to get at least a secured loan especially if our insurance polices are in place.
How many members are you expecting to enrol the during the initial opening phase?
There will be no limit to the number of members who can join APC or who can complete the Indicative Assessment. Our partner ATOs will welcome applicants who have completed the Indicative Assessment and received a “Ready” score and who have worked on any identified weaknesses. There is no limit to the number of APC members who can follow that pathway.
Do you have any airlines interested in participating in the scheme with potential job offers for graduates?
As discussed above, there are no Airlines hiring at the moment for obvious reasons, so there are no airline programs available to members. Again, as discussed above, it will be some time before the airlines start to plan their ab-initio intake and re-commence airline sponsored, mentored or supported cadet training programs.
Having said that, we and our partner ATOs are in discussions with airlines who will be planning their future pilot intake during 2021. APC members will be among the first to hear of any opportunities for airline cadet programs.
Will the lending criteria be based on my credit rating and vary from candidate to candidate or will it be fixed, based on the course and potential employment?
We must anticipate that the lending criteria will vary from person to person. Despite systems that will be in place to protect the banks against losses, the banks will always operate in a way that reduces its risk. Accordingly, despite the quality assurance provided by the AON System and the availability of employment, we expect the banks to look at each person individually and asses the lending rate accordingly.
This is where the APC ‘retail’ insurance policies will be extremely useful to you and your family. Each bank will view these in accordance with their own corporate policies, but, as we have said above, the bank can be a ‘signed payee’ on the policy and this will assist you in your discussions with the banks.
Is there a possibility that I could be acceptable aptitude wise but rejected due to financial criteria?
APC cannot speak for the banks in this process. The banks will apply prudent lending policies to their customers. They will take into account all the AON System mitigations that will be in place. However, they will not lend to someone who has a perfect score in an assessment with a criminal record or someone who has been published as bankrupt or who has a record of defaulting on loan repayments. We must use our common sense when thinking about such scenarios.
What is the expected time frame between the initial application to starting the course?
This will vary from school to school, airline program and the phase of the recovery. Schools with vacancies can enrol you on a course within weeks. When the system is stretched and the schools are busy, this can extend to approximately 3 months, however these are general estimates.