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6,500 apply for BA pilot jobs

Around 6,500 people have applied for jobs as a British Airways pilot after the airline launched its biggest pilot recruitment campaign for a decade, it was announced today.

BA said its online pilot recruitment careers page had 25,000 hits in the first 24 hours, after the campaign started in August.

The firm's Future Pilot Programme, an initiative to help people train to become airline pilots for the first time, had the biggest response, with 3,500 applicants for the 80 places available this year.

The airline also received around 3,000 applications from experienced pilots already flying with other commercial carriers.

BA's head of pilot recruitment, Captain Robin Glover, said: "We are delighted with the fantastic response. We want to recruit the very highest standard of pilots and the BA Future Pilot Programme widens the talent pool even further."

The airline, which employs 3,200 pilots, plans to take on more than 800 new pilots by 2016, with around half coming from its Future Pilot Programme.