Your Flying Future

Requirements and application

Many dream of becoming a pilot – but how many actually try? Applying is the first step in turning your dream into reality. You can apply for our training course at any time of the year. The SWISS pilot training programs commence every three to six weeks, allowing you to start your training when it suits you.

The Best Path to Becoming a Pilot

Our flight school in Switzerland stands for top quality pilot training and has been recognized as a vocational school (“Höhere Fachschule”) since 2012. We prepare you ab initio – from the beginning, without any prior training, and help you acquire your ATPL commercial pilot license in 20-22 months. You then receive a type rating for one of our entry aircraft types (A320, C-Series) and are ready for your first commercial flight.


In a Cockpit within Seven Weeks

You have nothing to lose: applying to SWISS costs you nothing and does not enter you into any obligations. Should you meet the basic requirements, you are admitted to our selection procedure. Following this, you will discover a lot about yourself – successful applicants can then begin training at European Flight Academy, the pilot school of Lufthansa Group. After seven weeks of completing the first theory phase, you will step into the cockpit of one of our training aircraft in Grenchen, Switzerland. You’ll later complete comprehensive flight training at our facility in Vero Beach, Florida.  

Let's go!

Training Course

ATPL: Airline Transport Pilot License

At SWISS and the Lufthansa Group’s pilot school, you will acquire an internationally recognized license for commercial pilots, the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).


It’s the classic training course: within approx. 20-22 months, you will complete your training. You first learn to fly in a single-person cockpit, then in multi-crew cooperation. You will receive your type rating and landing training from your employer following the training. Your training at a glance: 

ATPL – an Overview


Swiss EU or EFTA national (EU-27-countries without restriction/Croatia only with a Swiss residence permit C)

Minimum age of 18 and maximum age of 32 at time of application

Minimum height of 1.60 m / max. 1.98 m

Medical fitness (verification not necessary at the time of application)

Excellent written and spoken German (at least B2 level) and English skills (B2 level). Anyone who speaks German daily or as a native does not need to provide any language certificates for German. If you are missing the certificates, you need to acquire them prior to the selection procedure (German) or beginning of training (English).

For applicants from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Germany: general/subject-specific higher education entrance qualification or successfully completed vocational training (“Lehre”) spanning at least three years, including diploma (“Lehrabschlusszeugnis/Bescheinigung”, “eidgenössisches Fähigkeitszeugnis (EFZ)”, “Gesellenbrief/Facharbeiterbrief” or “IHK-Prüfungszeugnis”; “Matura/Abitur”, “Berufsmatura”, “Fachmittelschule (FMS)”, “Informatikmittelschule (IMS)” as well as “prüfungsfreier Zulassungsnachweis für eine Fachhochschule”).

Applicants liable for compulsory military service must have completed basic service (“Rekrutenschule”) or civil service (“langer Einsatz”).

ATPL – an Overview

Training Course



Approx. 2 years (20-22 months, type rating in addition)


Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Instrument Rating (IR), "frozen" Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), also allowing operations in a single-person cockpit


Allows you to fly for SWISS and its subsidiary Edelweiss

Dual training

Cost of training/financing

Training fees of CHF 120'000 are reduced through a Swiss government subsidy (CHF 60'000 for Swiss and people with C EU/EFTA permit and CHF 36'000 for foreigners) and fees covered by SWISS (CHF 30'000)


The remaining fees of CHF 30'000 for Swiss or people with C EU/EFTA permit and CHF 54'000 for foreigners are repaid by using the deferment model

To SWISS in three steps

Your Path to Us

You meet the requirements and are fascinated by the prospects of becoming a pilot? There are only three steps necessary for you to take a big leap towards that dream. 

Step 1

Inform Yourself

<p>We invite you to take part in one of our info-events. There, we will provide all the relevant information first hand and experienced pilots and instructors can answer all of your questions.</p>

Find out more

Step 2


<p>You want to apply? Then please upload a CV including a photograph of yourself, available diplomas, and a motivational letter. If necessary, please also upload a complete SPHAIR certificate.</p>

Apply now!

Step 3


<p>Within a few days, we will get&nbsp;back to you to confirm having&nbsp;received your application. After a&nbsp;careful review, we will then invite&nbsp;you to the Edelweiss selectionprocedure. Best of luck!</p>

Find out more!
Are you ready?

Apply now

Due to the current exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, all assessments will be postponed until 19 April 2020 at the earliest. During this time, we will not be accepting any registrations for the SWISS pilot training programme.


Still have questions?

How long does the pilot training take? How high are the fees? And do I actually need to be very athletic? Here you find all you need to know about pilot training.

Can I become a pilot without perfect sight?

Yes, not all pilots have 20/20 vision. Your eyesight will be assessed by a doctor as part of your medical.

Read more

Do I need to have high grades in math and the sciences at school?

We test your knowledge of technical and physical processes as well as your technical understanding. This means it is advantageous to have done well in math and physics from years 8 to 11. We also greatly value your motivation to achieve your goals and your passion for the job.

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Where can I inquire about the status of my application?

We’re afraid it’s not possible to access your application once it has been sent to us. If you require information as to its status, please contact us by telephone or email.

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