Information on Airline Jobs


Career Job Summary Broad Requirements
Pilot Fly the aircraft. Commercial Pilot's Licence.
The job of pilot is one of the most coveted airline positions, it is well paid, secure, and international. Pilots generally have low career stress as they have good job security and periodic promotion. The main career risk is health - regular medical checks must be passed to maintain the pilot's licence.

In order to apply for airline positions, one must be in possession of a Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL), and in some cases, an Air Transport Pilot's Licence (ATPL). You will also sometimes need a Type Rating on a specific preferred aircraft of the potential employer. Finally you will need a pre-requisite number of flying hours experience.

Except for a fortunate few, the cost of obtaining the necessary licences and ratings can be quite high. There are costs for both ground school classes, as well as the cost of accumulating the necessary flight hours.

There are those who obtain sponsorship of the training by way of joining the military, being accepted onto one of the rare airline cadet pilot training schemes, or by way of family or contacts in the industry. This is the exception.

Pilot training commences with the Private Pilots Licence (PPL) which normally requires about 40 flying hours. Candidates work their way up through to larger and more complex aircraft types, building flying hours along the way.

The main qualifying requirements are good hand-eye co-ordination, excellent Maths and Science marks, and a stable personality.

One of the most common routes followed by South Africans is to obtain their PPL and CPL, and then fly charter operations for a couple of years to obtain the necessary flying hours experience whilst being paid to do so.

There are a number of quality flying schools in Southern Africa, and some not so good. In general one should beware of the cheaper options.

Flight Attendant/Cabin Crew Manage passenger safety and provide service to the passengers during the flight. High school completed. Customer friendly. Well groomed. Able to swim. 1.55m tall.
Please see our comprehensive Cabin Crew guide sections by clicking here.
Check-In Agent Accept passenger documents and baggage and route them onto the required flight. Assign seating. Customer friendly.
The check-in agent position is one of the most popular starting points for an airline career. Check-in agents generally join directly from school as there are no major pre-requisites. Candidates who have knowledge of one of the airline reservations systems will have an advantage. This knowledge is usually provided during tertiary travel and tourism studies.

The main qualifying requirements are a matric, and good attitude to customer service.

The work is often on a shift basis and can involve periods of high pressure during peak travel periods.

The main tasks of the check-in agent are to greet passengers on arrival at the check-in desk, weigh and label baggage, allocate their seats, hand over their boarding passes, and direct passengers to the boarding gate for their flight. Most of the tasks involve interaction with the check-in computer system. Agents will often have to answer a variety of questions from the passengers.

Training courses for check-in agents are offered by EPT Aviation Training.

Ticket Sales Calculate airline fares and issue passenger tickets. Customer friendly.
Ground Handling Provide passenger assistance services at the airport. Customer friendly.
Food Preparation Prepare in-flight meals and refreshments. Domestic sciences.
Logistics Movement of food and equipment to and from aircraft. Able bodied.
Shipping Agent Acceptance of cargo and cargo documents at cargo centres. Customer friendly.
Logistics Movement of cargo to and from aircraft and other vehicles. Able bodied.
Sales Promotion of airline ticket sales to companies and agents. Relationship building. Well groomed.
Advertising Specification of airline promotional material and media. Creative and business skills.
Call Centre Respond to telephonic customer enquiries and make reservations. Telephone skills
Technician Maintenance and repair of aircraft and equipment. Apprenticeship or technical diploma.
Support Planning and controlling technical status and documents. Technical literacy.
Flight Planning Preparing the flight routing and fuelling plans for each flight. Maths literacy.
Weight & Balance Specifying the loading plan for each flight. Maths literacy.
Finance Preparing airline accounts and reports. Numeric literacy.
Personnel Process salaries, benefits, and employee data. People skills.

Check out the CAA manual of aviation careers

View the airline careers site

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