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Home > Age > Am I too old to become an airline pilot?
Am I too old to become an airline pilot?
Pilot Career - Age
Monday, 16 January 2006 02:37
Hi Captain Lim!

I mean - what can I say! What a phenomenal website!!

So, my question is this: I am about to embark on a journey to become an ATP. However, I am about to turn 29. Am I being unrealistic, or will hard work, professionalism, sacrifice and confidence still be enough for me to achieve my dream? Am I considered too old to start this journey?

I figure that with my degree in management and a few years of experience as a leader and a manager, plus some more maturity, I should still be marketable. I plan to have all my ratings and licenses before I turn 31. So with a little luck, I hope to be able to start applying to airlines by the time I*m 33-35.

Is this too old? Will the airlines consider my age to be an age in which I've matured, plus, take my degree and work experience in leadership and management as strengths?

Thanks for your help!


Hi Paulo,

I am not sure where you come from and so I can only give you some very general advice on the airlines career opportunities in this website.

The demand for airline pilots is a fairly fickle thing - it depends on which part of the world you are residing now. In the Asian regions, particularly in East, South East and South Asia, and in the Middle East (especially in the UAE), the job prospects are good. Elsewhere, the demands may be low and slow.

In the USA (probably that where you are come from), many airline pilots have been furloughed (leave of absence) from the airlines since Sep 11. However, the General Aviation job prospects in that region are faring better.

Even in regions where flying opportunities are good, job offers are given to the locals first before outsiders are considered. In your case and at your age, you must have at least the required licenses - ATP/ME/IR to be marketable.

In the USA, airlines would want you to have at least 2000 flying hours. Outside, they would consider you with the basic licenses, recognizable in their regions - usually the CAA/JAR ATPL.

At 35, with a full rating and sufficient flying experience, it is not too old to apply for the airlines in the US. Outside, the competition would be quite tough, as you would be competing with many younger pilot aspirants. Nevertheless, if you do not mind (with a possibility of failing to get into the airlines) to fly for General Aviation or any low cost carriers, then go ahead and pursue your dream.

Any academic qualifications above the minimum required are an advantage. Maturity, leadership and management qualities are essential to become an airline pilot. But that aren't enough. Many people aspiring to be pilots overlook attitude as a very important attribute that the airlines will examine into when recruiting one.

Good luck to your future career!


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Comments (7)

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am I too old , Low-rated comment [Show]
i want to be pilot. , Low-rated comment [Show]
I want to ne a pilot too. , Low-rated comment [Show]
Am I Too Old Become Pilot
I am almost 81 and want to be a pilot and further to that I and litter bit blind and totally deaf in both ears. Can I still become an pilot ?smilies/cry.gif
Abdul Ahmat , 18 Dec, 2011
Am I Too Old become Pilot at Age 91
I'm 91 years old and want to be a pilot.

Although, I am Totally blind and deaf in both ears, will this be an issue? smilies/tongue.gif
Abdul Ahmat , 18 Dec, 2011
I want to be a pilot
Hi captain Lim,I am currently 14 and I'm aspiring to be a Singapore airlines pilot.can you give tips on what kind of path I can take to become one?my studies are not exceptionally good but just ok...
Vinod , 21 Dec, 2011
No qualifications and dream to be an Airline Pilot.

Is CPL dedicated to a rich person who can support his child for studies. Some do qualified for the license but financially not stable to pay for the course. As for me i got nothing no qualification and come from a low wage income family but it is my dream to be am Airline pilot. Everyday without fail i will fly with my Flight Simulator X and so sadly that i dont have a chance to become one. I am really honored for those already a qualified pilot and i wish you the best of luck. Its my ambition since i was 5 years old. i hope before i die maybe i can sit on a real cockpit and see the pilot fly.
Ruzaidy , 01 Jan, 2015

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