Skip to main content

Further your career as a Pilot with Virgin Atlantic

As a First Officer with Virgin Atlantic you will be joining the UK’s only exclusively long-haul airline. Predominately you’ll be flying out of London Heathrow and London Gatwick (we do also have a base in Manchester) to exciting destinations such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Delhi, São Paulo, Barbados, Antigua and many more. Our pilots lead our operation every day, making the difference that our customers see and feel when they fly Virgin Atlantic.

We have one of the most technologically advanced aircraft fleets around, so you’ll have the chance to fly an industry leading modern and efficient aircraft fleet of Airbus A330/ A350s or Boeing 787s. Our A350-1000 aircraft is more fuel efficient than other planes, with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines generating 30% lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to Virgin Atlantic’s current 747-400 aircraft. And the A350-1000 is significantly quieter than the airline’s current planes – it will reduce the noise footprint at airports that Virgin Atlantic flies by 52%.

Pilot careers – Who are we looking for?

Within this role you will support the Captain in the operation and management of the flight, ensuring the highest standards of safety, keeping crew morale elevated, and ultimately delighting our customers.

You should be able to exchange sound advice and information with the Captain, crew and ground teams in order to successfully operate flights to industry leading standards which define Virgin Atlantic Airways. Our First Officers take pride in maintaining their licences in line with the professional and medical standards required by the CAA and the business, we are sure you will too.

Setting the highest standards for your own development, you’ll possess the necessary attributes to be a Commander of a Virgin Atlantic Airways aircraft in the future. Above all, we’re looking for individuals who want to live the Virgin Atlantic’s ambition to be the most loved travel company.

Pilot Recruitment Partner

We have selected Zenon as our exclusive recruitment partner to support the recruitment process of our Pilots until 2022. The Virgin Atlantic team together with Zenon, have worked jointly to design an assessment and selection process that ensures our candidates have a great recruitment experience.

If you are interested in applying for a Pilot role, you will be directed to Zenon’s careers page where you will complete a registration and submit your application details. The Zenon team will have initial contact with you, then will be with you throughout your application journey, from screening to final interview. The hiring decisions are made jointly with the Virgin Atlantic team as you proceed through the various recruitment stages, from initial pre-screening, psychometric assessments, simulation assessment, behavioural and technical interview.

Zenon logo

Start your Pilot career with Virgin Atlantic

What are the requirements for becoming a Virgin Atlantic First Officer?

We are looking for our Captains of the future and our selection and assessment programme is tailored to this.  To begin your journey with Virgin Atlantic as a First Officer, you’ll need to have a minimum experience of 1500* flying hours on the Airbus A319/320/321/330/350 or Boeing 737NG/MAX/737/747/757/767/777/787.

In addition, you must also have the following:

  • Current UK Class 1 medical
  • Full EASA ATPL licence (UK issued) at date of joining
  • Current valid Airbus or Boeing type rating with over 500 flying hours
  • MCC qualification
  • High level of fluency in English (certified as ICAO level 6 English Proficiency at date of application)
  • Unrestricted right to live and work in the UK

*This is the minimum hours required. Hours required may vary based on business need.

A350 return crew

Career progression and benefits

At Virgin Atlantic, we aim to nurture amazing talent and create an inspirational experience that is inclusive and enables everyone to be at their best. That’s why we’ll guide you every step of the way as you progress from First Officer to Senior First Officer to Captain.

We’ll also reward you for the time and effort you invest in us with one of the best concessionary packages in the industry. To reflect the specific needs and situations that affect our Pilots, we offer life assurance, income protection, loss of license, highest company pension contribution in the industry, Pilotshare (our profit sharing scheme), private medical cover, amazing staff travel benefits for you and your family and much more.

The journey from Cabin Crew to Pilot

Discover how Katie transitioned from Cabin Crew, where she gained invaluable knowledge about working in an airline, to a Pilot with Virgin.

Read Katie’s story

100 years of flying at Virgin Atlantic

Find out about four Pilots who recently celebrated 100 years of combined flying with us, and a friendship that has spanned 25 years.

Read our Pilots’ stories

Being a Pilot, mum and entrepreneur

Learn how our Senior First Officer juggles flying, being a mother of three small children and running a successful business on the side.

Read Bernice’s story