Bonds – Training Bonds
Should I sign a Training Bond?
Becoming a pilot is a career choice. Most pilots will start on small aircraft and work their way up through fleets and ranks over time. While some training will be self-funded and other training borne by the airline, there are situations where the cost of training is so high, that an airline or organisation will look to bond pilots who wish to take the next step in their pilot career.
Bonding is a process whereby airlines and organisations offer training to pilots on the provision they commit to work for a set period of time. Often this is a two or three year period and at the end of that period, there is often no liability to the pilot for the training received.
This can be an ideal solution to a costly issue. Pilots receive training to add to their skillset and the airline has some security on it’s investment in that pilot. However, bonds are a contractual arrangement and therefore should not be entered into without some serious thought.
Below we have outlined some of the factors you should consider when making your decision as to whether committing to a training bond.
Airline training, type ratings and upgrade training is very costly and you may not be able to afford this on your own. Bonds enable you to receive training without monetary cost providing you commit to work for them for a set period of time.
Once training is complete, the airline has a vested interest in allowing you to utilise your training, increasing your own expertise and career prospects.
Entering into a bond agreement as a contract pilot might provide you with an opportunity to increase your skills at a faster pace. For example, some airlines will consider your experience as an A320 pilot suitable for roles on a different aircraft type e.g A330. Airline pilots in permanent positions often have to wait in the seniority list for their opportunity to move upwards or across to another aircraft.
Training is offered to those who meet the standard. By offering you training, your airline or organisation is demonstrating a commitment to you as an individual and as a valued part of the organisation.
Agreeing to a bond will mean that you may be unable to take up other opportunities that come along.
Breaking a bond
If you should break a bond you may be liable or all or part of the outstanding liability.
Like any commitment, you should think a bond through thoroughly. Consider where you see yourself in the next few years and what the implications to your career and family might be.
At WINGS Recruitment we always recommend that pilots have any contracts or agreements looked over by a professional before making a commitment and always seek further advice if unsure.
By Anna Milne
Anna is the Recruitment Manager at WINGS Recruitment. She enjoys assisting pilots to find new and exciting roles within the aviation industry.
Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.