British Airways has announced that it will fun flying lessons for 200 students across the UK in 2020.
The airline will pay for the private lessons for kids, who can get a taste of what life in the pilot’s seat could be like, as well as the opportunities that could be within their reach.
Manpreet Digpaul, 14, had a private flying lesson and said of the experience: “It makes me feel really privileged to experience this at such a young age. I’m just overwhelmed by the opportunity.
“Yesterday I was at school and now I’m flying! I want to be a pilot when I’m older and this is helping me to achieve my dreams.”
British Airways already ran a trial of the programme earlier this year in partnership with The Air League Trust, where it funded lessons for students at the Booker Aviation Flying School in High Wycombe.
The success has now seen the airline committing to fund the further 200 flying lessons.
The scheme opened earlier this year and BA says it had thousands of applicants, although it chose the final 200 “based on their passion and enthusiasm for flying”.
Angela Williams, British Airways’ Director of People, said: “We know the importance of introducing young people, especially young women, to aviation at an early age in order to inspire them to pursue a career in the cockpit and that’s why I’m thrilled we’re extending this ground-breaking flying initiative to youngsters up and down the UK in 2020.
“We’re passionate about improving diversity across all areas of our airline and we’re committed to investing in the next generation who will join us in connecting Britain with the world and the world with Britain.”
The scheme comes amidst the airline’s expansion to include more work experience placements and career opportunities for young people.
In fact, in 2020 it will become the first and only UK airline to offer a paid summer internship.
You can find out more about the various schemes and work experience placements/internships on the British Airways careers website .