Direct Entry Pilots

At present most Gulf Air Pilots are recruited through the Direct Entry Pilot Scheme. This programme is only for those who already have licences and flying experience in the commercial aviation industry. Within this programme, both non type-rated and type-rated Pilots are recruited.

Recruitment Process

Direct Entry Pilots Recruitment Process

Interested candidates should apply online.

If you meet our selection requirements, you will be invited for an assessment session in Bahrain consisting of two days of interviews, group discussions and psychometric testing. If you are invited to Bahrain from an overseas location, we will meet your travel, visa and hotel expenses.

Invited applicants are requested to bring the following documents:

  1. Their licence (ICAO ATPL or a JAA frozen ATPL) with current medical certificate.
  2. Log books, up to date.
  3. Supplementary training certificates (CRM, ETOPS, RVSM etc).
  4. Passport.
  5. HPL certificate (If separate to ATPL).
  6. Copies of all of the above.
  7. Letter of licence authentication from your current regulating authority.
  8. Names and contact information of two references, one of which must be from your present (or last) employer.

Day One

On the first day, we will conduct an informational presentation on working for Gulf Air, living in Bahrain, your career as a Pilot, and the benefits you can expect to receive.

Then you will receive four psychometric written tests designed to assess the following abilities:

  1. Verbal reasoning.
  2. Numerical estimation.
  3. Spatial checking.
  4. Computer checking.

A practice session will be included at the beginning. The tests are timed, and the entire tests will take two and a half hours to complete.

While you are being tested, your documents (such as log books) will be checked. The tests will be scored on the same day, and if you succeed you will be informed on the same day and will proceed to the next stage.

Day Two

The second day is comprised of a panel interview, a written individual planning exercise and a group discussion. Additionally, if you are a type-rated Pilot, you will be given a technical written assessment.

The panel interview will be approximately one hour duration. The panel interview may include behavioral questions where you describe actions and decisions taken during specific events based on your own experience. We encourage you to be candid in your response as there are no right or wrong answers. In addition, we may ask you knowledge-based questions covering topics specific to Gulf Air or related to the aviation industry.

In the individual planning exercise you will be presented with a scenario to which you will be required to provide a written response. The group discussion is an interactive session where candidates are presented with a topic/scenario and are asked to discuss it.

A panel will evaluate your results from all the components. Within 10 days you will be contacted by our Recruitment Team and informed whether you have been selected. We may contact the people in the references you provided during this time.

Career Development


The Flight Operations Department is responsible for the training and development of our Pilots. Gulf Air's fleet includes the Airbus 320, 321 and 330. A Chief Pilot and Manager Fleet Training head each fleet to ensure that every Pilot meets the regulatory and skill requirements demanded of the role.

If you are applying to the Direct Entry Pilot Scheme, you will already be a fully qualified Pilot; however some level of training is necessary before you are able to join one of our fleets. The type of training you will receive will vary based on your qualifications, experience, licence and current type ratings.

Flight Training

Gulf Air's Flight Crew Training Centre is located in the Kingdom of Bahrain and offers Ground School, SEP Training and Simulator training for the airline's Pilots.

The simulator training facilities operate under approvals from various regulatory authorities such as United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA), Kuwait Directorate of Civil Aviation and Civil Aviation Authority of UAE (GCAA).

The facility provides full training for the airline's Pilots, from basic training through to A320 & A330/340 Type Ratings. Gulf Air have a long and proud history of providing training to many other airlines in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Gulf Air's reputation for technical excellence has long been established with over 60 years of airline operation and training. The same high standards are passed on to the airline's customers through highly skilled and dedicated staff.

Ground Training

The following Ground Training courses are available:

  • Safety and Survival Course
    Our Safety and Survival School uses leading edge equipment including:
    • Computer based training systems.
    • A330 and A320 emergency evacuation trainers.
    • Swimming pool, slide rafts & life jackets.
    • Removable safety equipment identical to those used in GF Aircraft.
    • Fire fighting & smoke simulator.
  • Flight Instructor course.
  • Ground Instructor course.
  • Aircraft Type Rating courses (A330, A320).
  • Dangerous Goods procedures.
  • Crew Resource Management courses.
  • All Engineering courses.

Simulator Training

  • Type Rating course (A330, A320).
  • Proficiency and recurrent training (A330, A320).
  • Designated Examiner course.
  • Line Training Captain course.
  • Simulator Instructor course.

Career Paths

During your career with Gulf Air there may also be the opportunity to take on training roles outside of the flight deck whilst continuing to carry out flying duties. In these roles individuals will spend a proportion of their time developing the expertise of themselves and their colleagues in both technical and non-technical areas. There may also be the opportunity to apply for management roles within the Flight Operations department and elsewhere within Gulf Air.