How much does it cost to become an airline pilot?


In this article we will try to clear some doubts about the cost of becoming an airplane pilot in Spain and the different options available to obtain each license.

The career to become an airline transport pilot involves a great financial commitment by the student. For this reason, a total and responsible dedication is required as we are talking about a highly competitive and demanding sector.

The final price may vary depending on the path chosen to achieve the goal of flying a commercial aircraft for a particular airline.  In addition, it is very likely this price increases as a specific type rating might be needed in order to apply for a job.

Despite such financial effort, we must consider this is a profession with an excellent economic projection and a brilliant employment future in the medium and long term.

¿Cuánto cuesta ser piloto? Precio cursos

How to become an airplane pilot in Spain?

What do I have to study to become a commercial airline pilot? Requirements

At present, in Spain, no specific prior studies are required to start the pilot training. However, enough knowledge on mathematics and physics so as to easily understand all the subjects to be studied, is highly recommended. Therefore, and given that an access test must be taken if you go for an authorized centre training, in case you are in high school it is advisable to choose the science branch as it gives enough level in both subjects to begin pilot instruction smoothly.

To start training as an airplane pilot in Spain, the only mandatory requirements are a minimum height of 1.57 cm and be, at least, 17 years old since the minimum age to take the exams is 18 years.

In addition, you will need to pass a class 1 medical examination before starting any course that ensures you have no physical impediment to operate an aircraft in a safe way.

Likewise, English is essential to pursue this profession. Hence, a good basis, which may be improved throughout your training until reaching the required level is, also, recommended…

Thus, to become an aviation pilot you can opt either for the university degree or for the different courses with which to obtain the different licenses.

What’s the estimated future for the pilot profession?

The latest Airbus report in the Global Market Forecast (GMF) gives a highly positive prospective view on the growth of air traffic and the evolution of fleet patterns for this profession. 

This analysis takes into account factors such as demographic and economic development, trends in tourism or air cargo, as well as aircrafts efficiency, sustainability, energy prices and airlines network development.

The report highlights a strong air traffic growth as well as aircrafts demand, especially for those with more than 100 seats capacity, with a favorable future for the next 20 years during which the high requirement of air transport around the planet will generate a need for 39,000 new aircraft, both commercial and freighters. 

This expected growth will provoke a demand for more than 600,000 new pilots worldwide. Therefore, with no doubt, this is one of the best moments in the history of aviation to become a pilot.

¿Cuánto cuesta ser piloto? Precio cursos

Frequently asked questions

One of the most frequently asked questions when considering starting training as a pilot is, How much does the pilot career cost in Spain?

Well, the price will depend on how far you want to go since the commercial pilot course does not have the same price as the private pilot course or the airline transport pilot course.

Is the private pilot licence the same as the commercial pilot or airline transport licence?

The various licenses to which one can opt differ in the attributions that each one provides. So, if you are looking to turn your passion into a hobby and fly whenever you want a light plane, you should go for the Private Pilot License. With it you can rent a plane, or have your own, to enjoy with friends and family incredible experiences and travel as a pilot in leisure or sports flights. That is, with no remuneration.

If, on the contrary, your dream is to fly large commercial aircrafts, carrying passengers or moving large tons of cargo to the controls of an A380, your license is the Airline Transport Pilot License, career that you will forge by passing the different stages of the Frozen ATPL course such as the CPL Commercial Pilot License, MultiMotor + IR certification, VFR-N or MCC, among other courses, until you reach your aim: to become a Professional Airline Pilot.
With the integrated course you can directly apply for the commercial pilot license as it is an “ab initio” course for applicants without previous experience

The average price of the Airline Transport Pilot Course, either in Modular Program or Integrated Program, including the ATPL Frozen License required to be qualified for your first job as an airline’s First Officer, ranges from €65,000 to €90,000 depending on the school chosen and its different variants and alternatives (total flight hours, aircraft model and additional facilities such as flight simulators).

The longest cycle, with the Airline Transport Pilot and Aeronautical Management degree,  has a higher cost, between 120,000€ and 150,000€ spread over four years,  ending with a type rating already included in the program.

The modular program is probably the best choice as you will not know, with certainty, which aircraft model you will  fly in your career until you have passed a selection process for a certain airline.

However, the type rating price for an A320 or B737, the two most demanded at the moment, is around €18,000-€20,000.

In professional flight schools this option does not exist. However, at World Aviation Flight Academy we have financing programs available to everyone who may need it.

As for the companies, the possibility of some kind of scholarship to receive training as a pilot depends, exclusively, on the pilots demand worldwide at the precise moment. If the demand is higher than the supply, airlines sign collaboration agreements with certain training centers and pay part of the course to obtain the ATPL license.

Thanks to this type of program, the student has, after a demanding selection process, a job post in the precise airline once the training is finished. Thus, right from the start, the student’s training is developed in accordance with the operational procedures of such airline, what makes the subsequent adaptation process easier.

At WA Flight Academy we are aware of the great economic effort the airline pilot course means. That is why we offer different financing options through different banks. Our advisors team will help you with the corresponding requirements and conditions.

Click here for information.

The cost to obtain the different licenses will depend on the path chosen in the initial stage:

  • Integrated or modular course – The modular course is more flexible than the integrated one as it allows the students to obtain the license at his/her own pace, adapting it to his/her availability and needs.
  • Simultaneous ATPL Frozen license with a university degree – is the most expensive option of all. The advantage is that you get a university degree at the same time that you train as a pilot what gives you the opportunity to apply for other positions in different departments of an airline.
  • Another possibility is to enter the Air Force and train in it. This will save you the economic effort. However, that obliges you to stay in the army for a few years until you can retire from the military career and convert your licenses to civilian, which would delay being an Airline Transport Pilot for a long time. In return you would receive a full military training and could become a fighter pilot or military transport pilot.


The main reason for pilot training being so expensive is the number of flight hours required during the course, whether integrated or modular.

World Aviation Flight Academy offers a wide range of airline pilot courses so you can get your EASA license and work in this exciting world.

In this link you can check the price of all our courses.

Pilot training is provided at the approved training centers called ATO – Authorized Training Organization. 

When deciding where to train, it is very important to do a thorough market analysis of the different pilot schools and their prices, deeply considering what each one offers. So, our advise is not to consider only the price but to look into the whole. The more information you gather, the better. Talk to instructors or/and students who are training at the time, and collect any reference in terms of flight hours, teaching hours, total fleet, own maintenance, availability to fly, different bases and simulators among other important aspects that can help you make a detailed comparison.

Click here for some tips to help you choose the best school for your training.  

If you still have doubts, Contact us!

Our pilot school works for the professional excellence of each student. We have instructors with more than 20 years of experience and state-of-the-art aircraft.

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