Airline Pilot Training

In the collective mind, it remains difficult to become an Airline Pilot. In the reality there are several schools specialized in airline pilot training and approved by the civil aviation authorities such as the ESMA.

The Pilot training consists in theoretical phases namely the 14 ATPL modules, and flight phases validating stage by stage the Pilot Licence (ATPL: Airline Transport Pilot Licence).

According to your situation, you will be rather oriented toward an integrated, online training or a modular training. You can also be trained for additional qualifications.

Integrated Pilot Training

The Integrated ATPL is a training dedicated to candidates with few or no experience in aeronautics. It is also the best way to validate the airline pilot licence within very brief time.
This training is entirely delivered within an ATO (Approved Training Organisation), and the program is approved by the French and European aviation authorities. The ESMA’s ATO is recognized by the DGAC.
The pilot training program, admittedly dense, places pilot trainees in a perfectly adapted professional context. They will acquire flight management knowledge and become a professional pilot prepared for the early stages in airline company.
The majority of our trainees integrate this session after the High school diploma.

This type of pilot training is often chosen by airlines for their youngers airline pilots when they assign the training to an ATO.


Integrated training prerequisites

In order to apply for the Integrated training students must:

  • be at least 17 years-old
  • have a valid class 1 medical certificate for flight crew
  • have a A-Level (preferably in sciences)
  • have a good English level

The selection is made based on personal file by the educational staff.

Integrated training duration

This training lasts 18 months minimum, among which 9 months of theory and 9 months of practice.
Trainees must validate every module at the French Civil Aviation Center within 36 months maximum, which will determine with flight hours their progress in the training.

Integrated training progress

The ESMA Aviation Academy offers an EASA ab-initio Pilot training including the following stages:
Introductory flight > Theoretical ATPL > Time building flight > CPL IR MEP > MCC

Trainees alternate flight phases and theoretical modules in order to fluidify the ATPL learning and not lose the acquired notions during courses and flights.
The ESMA students choose themselves their examination sessions and centers at the DGAC. They can retake them in case of failure in a maximum of 4 times per module, however they are forced to follow the school rhythm of studies.

Training Price: on request

Online Training

By following an online training, you have the choice of working from home and with your own rhythm. However, with ESMA Aviation Academy you are never completely alone during your training. Our professional instructors will support you at every stage, by phone or email.

The revision period in classroom is essential for the training and required by the DGAC / EASA. Your training will be focused on the improvement of your ATPL understanding and can lead you to apply them in real planes, in the crew flight training hall or if necessary in a simulator.

A typical day in class will include 6 hours of courses with highly experimented instructors. Throughout the course, your instructors will prepare you for the EASA examination and to enter the professional aviation world. Our main objective is to make you become an employable professional pilot.


Online training prerequisites

To apply for the online training , a candidate must:

  • have a valid Private Pilot Licence (PPL) at least as required by ICAO annex 1
  • have a valid class 1 medical certificate for crew flight
  • have 17 years-old minimum at the beginning of the training
  • have a good English level

Online training progress

The training is divided into 4 phases, and each phase is divided into several modules. At the end of every module, you will have to complete a final evaluation test. The EASA requires that you realize at least 10 % of your training in the school. Thus you have to carry out a total of 10 days of revision courses, which are planned on a regular base all year round in Montpellier.

The training lasts approximately 12 months and depends above all on the class attendance and the trainee work regularity.


Training price: Please contact

Modular Training

The modular training is dedicated to students with previous aeronautical experience. The candidate has to hold a PPL (Private Pilot Licence) and a theoretical ATPL.

The program, contrary to the integrated training is more flexible for trainees. Indeed, they choose the period for every stage of their training.

Thus, trainees come to the ESMA to follow the CPL, IR and MCC sessions in the dates which suit them.

CPL : Commercial Pilot Licence

IR : Instrument Rating

MCC : Multi Crew Coordination


Modular training prerequisites

The CPL-IR ME-MCC training prerequisites are:

  • be at least 18 years-old at the CPL exam day
  • have a valid class 1 medical certificate for flight crew
  • have an ATPL or theoretical CPL within the past 36 months
  • have a valid PPL
  • hold a night flight attestation
  • 175 FH minimum including 100 FH as captain and 20 FH as captain and a 300nm navigation
  • Ability to read English documentation


Modular training duration 

The estimated duration for a CPL/IR/MCC training is 6 months, according to weather forecasts and student personnal commitment.

CPL : 2 months
IR : 3 months
MCC : 2 weeks

sessions availability : please contact


Modular training progress

Training progress : CPL > IR > MCC

The CPL delivers the aircraft professional pilot qualification by making the transition with the private pilot licence. The training inlcudes courses in class (air regulations, professional methods acquisition), then 5 hours of FNPT2 (flight simulators) and finally 20 flight hours on DA42.

The IR is the qualification which will train you for IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), it is required to work in an airliner. The training includes two parts: the theoretical one of 42h30 (human factors, mental calculation, IFR regulation, etc.) and the other one in flight. The latter are made first of all on simulators (33 hours) and then with a DA42 (15 hours).

The MCC is the ultimate stage to learn crew procedures ensuring the best level in the decision-making process, the communication and the application of knowledge. This training includes 31h30 of theory (human factor in multi-crew piloting, CRM and aircraft knowledge) and 20 hours of simulator.


Training price: Please contact

Additional training for Pilots

Once the Airline Pilots have validated the ATPL, they can either apply directly in airlines or follow additional training.

FI training (Flight Insctructor)

According to established educational methods, the FI (A) trainees receive flight and ground training techniques to deliver instruction for flights and ground. An instructor will lead the pilot trainee to get the aircraft private pilot licence PPL and aircraft commercial pilot licence CPL (A) when the conditions of experience are acquired.

The FI training prerequisites are:

  • CPL licence (without flight hours conditions)
  • or PPL licence + theoretical CPL and 200 FH including 150 flight hours as Captain including a 300NM navigation. 10 flight hours with instruments including 5 flight hours can be done on FNPT.
  • Valid type-rating SEP.
  • 20 FH as captain in SEP.
  • 30 FH SEP including 5 FH in the last 6 months right before the training.
  • Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

Duration: 7 weeks

Training price: 10 439 €


CRI (SPA) Training

With the CRI (SPA) training, the FI will attend theoretical and practical courses relating to instruction knowledge and techniques. They will be entitled to deliver single piston aircraft (SPA) type-rating.

The CRI training prerequisites are:

  • CPL ME or PPL ME
  • Class 1 or 2 medical certificate
  • 500 FH as aircraft Captain including 30 FH as PIC on applicable type.
  • Ability to be a Captain on DA42 (course of difference)
  • Ability to read English documentation

Be aware the training must be realised in pair. 

Duration: 2 weeks

Training price: 7 689 €


FI IR EXT Training

The FI IR EXT training prerequisites are:

  • Class 1 or 2 medical certificate
  • Held a RNAV GNSS attestation
  • Ability to be Captain on DA42 (cours of difference)
  • CRI qualification
  • Pass the theoretical and practical evaluation
  • Ability to read English documentation
  • At least 200 FH IFR including a maximum of 50 FH with instruments realized in a FFS, FTD 2/3 or FNPTII

Duration: 2 weeks

Training price: 3 495 €


IRI Training

IRI: The training delivers to the candidate a qualification for instruments flight instructor or an extension of the FI (A) licence privileges. The instructor will be entitled to deliver an instruments flight qualification.

The IRI training prerequisites are:

  • Class 1 or 2 medical certificate
  • Held a RNAV GNSS attestation
  • Ability to be Captain on DA42 (cours of difference)
  • Pass the theoretical and practical evaluation
  • Ability to read English documentation
  • At least 800 FH IFR including at least 400 FH in an aircraft
  • 500 FH as aircraft pilot including 30 FH as PIC on the applicable class or type

Duration: 2 weeks and a half

Training price: 6 589 €


Skill maintenance training for F.I. qualification theoretical competences

The training meets the requirements and heighten awareness for instructors of the flight safety notions and refresh their pedagogical knowledge.

The required prerequisites are the following: a valid PPL or PPL with a ITT or FI qualification.

Duration: 2 days

Training price: on request

Airline Pilot: teaching tools

The ESMA has modern teaching equipments meeting the existing aircraft industry requirements.

  • An aircraft fleet of single-engine and multi-engine DA 40, DA 40 IFR, DA 42 and DA 42 G1000
  • 21 classrooms equipped with video projection tools
  • Flight simulators: 2 simulators FNPT2/MCC ALSIM 200 with 180° panoramic visual and 2 simulators FNPTII/DA42 Mechtronix with 210° panoramic visual
  • Computer-based training: CBT, Mock-up : Cockpit picture, 1 FMS Trainer : Airbus A330-340, a flight dispatch including access to weather forecast, NOTAM, flight plan deposits such as in every airline dispatch.
  • Briefing and débriefing rooms
  • The ESMA ensure the mechanical and avionics aircraft maintenance in its own PART 145 workshop. Flight simulators are also maintained by the school.
  • The ESMA also ensure its fleet airworthyness follow-up.
  • We propose the same service delivery for external clients, please contact us for more details.

More information

04 67 13 75 00 / ext. 7530

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