Becoming a Pilot


Both our Jet and Turbo prop fleets are regularly recruiting so we are always looking for pilots to join our ranks. In our Regionals entry is always at First Officer level and positions are located at a number of bases around the country, from Kerikeri to Christchurch. Whether you are looking for a career flying props or a pathway to our jet fleet, this is a great point of entry.

Mount Cook Airlines and Air Nelson operate domestic routes on the Air New Zealand Link Network. Here, you'll find yourself in the right hand seat of an ATR72, Dash 8 Q300 or Beech1900D.

The Air New Zealand jet fleet services our major domestic and international network. For those Pilots who have suitable experience, we do accept direct entry applications into the Air New Zealand jet fleet. Vacancies, which occur mainly as a result of fleet expansion and retirements, are filled by the appointment of Second Officers onto our wide-body fleet operating our long haul network. These positions are based out of Auckland.


To register your interest in a Pilot career with Air New Zealand and our Regional airlines please register by applying for one or both of the advertised vacancies for First Officer in our regional fleet or Second Officer in the jet fleet. If you meet the minimum standards stated below we are very keen for you to register your details online, irrespective of your current number of hours.

After applying you will receive a system generated email to acknowledge receipt of your application, if you do not receive this it is likely that your application has not been submitted correctly. Please email if you have any issues with your application. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss your application and the AirNZ requirements, please contact Tajna Medina, Talent Acquisition Consultant on 021 726 775.

Applications are managed centrally by the Air New Zealand Talent Sourcing team. When positions become available the Talent Sourcing team will liaise with the regional and jet fleet management teams to determine the best qualified pilots to attend our assessment process.

The Process

Entry into Air New Zealand is normally through our Regional Airlines where we operate a single, consolidated recruitment process. All of our airlines are represented on our selection days which mean that candidates who successfully complete this process will be eligible to work for any of our Regional airlines.

The recruitment process consists of initial screening against our minimum standards, reference checking and a phone screen. Candidates are then invited along to a two day Assessment Centre held at our Christchurch base. Across the 2 days candidates go through a variety of assessments including a Simulator assessment, formal interview, technical questionnaires, role-plays, group exercises and a psychological assessment.

Pilot Competencies

Our pilots not only have a critical role regarding operational safety and compliance, but also in terms of helping to deliver the exceptional customer experience Air New Zealand is renowned for. The Assessment Centre focuses on not just technical flying ability, but equally critically the 'people' skills which differentiate us from our competitors.

The personal attributes we value in pilots include:

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Leadership and Communication
  • Demonstrating the Air New Zealand Brand
  • Maturity and life interests outside of flying
  • Motivation and self management
  • Decision making ability
  • Workload management
  • Teamwork

Technical Requirements

Qualifications/Experience Jet Regional
NZCAA ATPL Subjects passed and eligibility to gain ATPL OR NZCAA ATPL Preferred
Hours (TT) 2000 500
Hours (Multi-engine) 200 Open
Hours ATO 100 Open

Note: The Minimum Total hours are guidelines and may vary between airlines.

Additional Requirements

New Zealand Residency

Only indefinite permanent residents of New Zealand or citizens of New Zealand or Australia will be considered. A valid passport is required for the Jet fleets.


You will need a NZCAA Class 1 Medical. As part of the assessment process you will be required to undertake a medical examination.


Candidates must have a New Zealand secondary school qualification to enter university as managed by the NZ Qualifications Authority. Please refer to Chart 1 below in regards equivalence for Cambridge or International Baccalaureate educational standards.

Candidates who do not hold UE but who have attained all 7 NZCAA ATPL exam credits will also be considered to have met the 'equivalence' standard, providing they have achieved the minimum numeracy and literacy standards required for UE. The ATPL equivalence is subject to the pass/fail conditions described in Chart 2 below.

Candidates who have not achieved the education standards listed above, will be required to undergo Air NZ Equivalence testing, prior to being granted an interview, as an alternative means of demonstrating required levels of cognitive ability. Candidate may be required to sit further testing onsite at an assessment board.

Additionally, applicants who do not meet either of the defined UE or ATPL standards but who have completed a Degree course (either extramurally or as a mature student) are deemed satisfactory subject to their having met the numeracy and literacy standards which are required for UE.


Prospective employees will undergo Police and Aviation Security vetting.


You must have a Level 6 (or greater) English Language Endorsement on your license.

Minimum Age

To be considered for a role you must hold a current Commercial Pilots License (CPL). The minimum age for issue of a CPL is 18 years.

Commuting Policy

Air New Zealand has a commuting policy which states that employees should reside on a day to day basis within a zone which is no more than a 90 minute drive (irrespective of the actual means of travel chosen to commute) in peak hours to/ from that employee's normal place of work or allocated base.

Obtaining Qualifications

To provide direction and assist prospective future airline pilots choose a training provider for their flight training, the Air New Zealand Aviation Institute has selected five flight training organisations (FTOs) across New Zealand to become partners in developing career training options for aspiring pilots. Pilots who complete the NZ Diploma in Aviation (Airline Preparation) or Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) with one our five partners below will become Air New Zealand Preferred Pilots:

Air New Zealand does not currently offer cadetships or scholarships, nor subsidise pre-employment flight training.

A brochure detailing 'How to be a Pilot' can be found on CAA's website here, or by contacting CAA (P O Box 31 441, Lower Hutt New Zealand, Tel 04-5609400).

Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

The minimum age for issue of this licence is 17 years of age, to be eligible you must have completed at least 50 hours flight time and hold a Class 2 medical. You must also pass PPL written examinations on Air Navigation and Flight Planning, Aircraft Technical Knowledge, Meteorology, Human Factors, Flight Radiotelephony and Law.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

The minimum age for issue of the Commercial Pilot Licence is 18 years and to qualify, total flying must be in excess of 200 hours and hold a Class 1 medical. You must also pass CPL written examinations on Navigation, Aircraft Technical Knowledge, Principles of Flight, Meteorology, Human Factors and Law.

Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL)

The minimum age for issue of the Airline Transport Pilot Licence is 21 years and to qualify, total flying must be in excess of 1500 hours and hold a current Commercial Pilot Licence. You must also pass ATPL written examinations on Air Law, Flight Navigation General, Flight Planning, Meteorology, Instruments and Navigation Aids, Human Factors and Advanced Aerodynamics, Performance and Systems Knowledge.

Chart 1 - Educational Requirements

Qualification NCEA Cambridge IB Overseas ATPL
Highest Level Approved subjects - See here OR A minimum of 120 points on the UCAS Tariff* at A or AS level from subjects other than the General Paper, including at least three subjects (other than Thinking Skills) in which no grade is lower than D. OR Full International Baccalaureate Diploma OR Secondary School Qualification defined as meeting UE standard as assessed by NZQA (onus upon the candidate to gain assessment) OR All 7 NZCAA ATPL Exam credits held
Numeracy Standard Numeracy requirements - See here OR Either: (i) D grade or better in IGCSE or GCSE mathematics, or (ii) Any mathematics passed at AS level. D grade or better will satisfy one of the subject requirements of Part A. Or as prescribed for university entrance with NCEA. OR Satisfied as per content of above OR Satisfied as per content of above OR As per NCEA, Cambridge, IB or overseas Numeracy Standard
Literacy Standard Literacy requirements - See here OR Either: E grade or better in any one of AS English Language, Language and Literature in English, Literature in English. D grade or better will satisfy one of the subject requirements of Part A.
Or as prescribed for university entrance with NCEA.
OR Satisfied as per content of above OR Satisfied as per content of above OR As per NCEA, Cambridge, IB or overseas Literacy Standard
Conditions None OR None OR None OR None OR Pass/Fail conditions met - refer chart 2

* Pre 2002 (NQF) Numeracy standard is equal to a passing grade of 50% or higher at School C Mathematics

** Pre 2002 (NQF) Literacy standard is equal to a Sixth Form grade of 1-5 in English Language, English Literature, Classical Studies and te reo Māori

Chart 2 - CAA Flight test & Exam Performance

The chart below describes the pass/fail requirements for candidates seeking equivalency through ATPL qualifications. A.S.L. transcripts for all exams and flight tests will need to be provided as part of the application process to demonstrate these standards have been successfully met.

The candidate shall have passed all CAA flight tests and theory examinations for PPL, CPL, and MEIR, and all theory examinations for ATPL, with:

  1. No more than one resit in any one flight test (PPL, CPL, SEIR, MEIR or Instructor ratings) and no more than two flight test resits in total.
    • This means that a candidate may resit, for example, the PPL and MEIR flight tests and still be eligible; but a candidate who resits one flight test (for example CPL) twice, will not be eligible. A candidate who resits the PPL, CPL and IR flight tests will not be eligible.
  2. No more than one resit in any one theory subject at CPL or ATPL levels.
    • This means that a student who resits, for example, CPL Law and ATPL Meteorology will be eligible; but a candidate who resits one particular exam (for example CPL Navigation) twice, will not be eligible.
  3. No more than two resits at any one level of theory at CPL or ATPL.
    • This means that a candidate who resits, for example, CPL Navigation and IR Navigation will be eligible; but a candidate who resits, for example, CPL Navigation, CPL Meteorology and CPL Law will not be eligible.

For the purposes of these criteria, "resit" is defined as an attempt at an exam or flight test subsequent to an initial failed attempt. A "failed attempt" does not include:

  • a "did not sit" grade (given as a result of non-attendance for whatever reason)
  • a failing grade as a result of impaired performance caused by sickness (a medical certificate will be required)
  • a failing grade as a result of impaired performance due to extenuating circumstances outside the student's control. Such circumstances will be assessed on an individual basis.

CAA Flight test & Exam Performance

Search Show all jobs
Location - Any
show advanced
It looks like you are using Internet Explorer 8 or older. To get the best experience using our website
we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or use other web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox.