From September 11, 2001 to 2019, very few airlines offered to sponsor commercial pilot training. After 9/11, travel demand dropped significantly and many pilots found themselves unemployed. As the industry began to recover with the widespread recruitment of airlines, the financial crisis of 2008 arrived and its effects were felt for ten years, with many airlines going bankrupt.
This started to change in 2019. Some airlines started to change their attitude about sponsoring cadets, with companies such as Aer Lingus and easyJet offering to sponsor the majority of the cost of flight training for some lucky cadets. Unfortunately, this positive momentum has been wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the number of pilots who have been left out of work and the devastated finances of the airlines that have survived, sponsorship of flight training is unlikely to return any time soon.
There are still organizations that offer grants or financial aid, which we have listed below. If airlines begin to reintroduce sponsored cadet programs, we will list them here.