Until a few years ago this path was the same for everyone.
Today due to an increase in the number of unemployed pilots, many airlines outsource this type rating and line training or charge the pilots for it. Training hours are sold as a ‘package’ to the pilots at a cost. Unfortunately, this still does not guarantee a job for the pilots.
The prices for such “self-sponsored” type rating and line training can go up to €50.000. This comes on top of any pilot training loan or costs. This phenomenon, known also as Pay-to-Fly (P2F) means pilots are functioning as an employee of an airline but either receive a very low salary or have to pay the airline themselves.
Contracts in this phase tend to vary a lot. Some airlines ask the pilot to fully pay for the type rating, but in this case ‘no bond’* is imposed. Others follow the opposite route. All type rating schemes offered to pilots tend to promise high employment chances in the end, but such marketing can be deceptive. Aspiring pilots must be very careful and question fully what the airline offers and guarantees. An acceptable option could be that the airline imposes a bond to a potential employee.
*Bond: a contract with the airline which entails that when you leave the airline within a number of years (e.g. 3 or 5) you will have to pay back a proportional part of the airline training cost.