A group of easyJet pilots on the first airline-supported BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice degree have graduated.

The degree course was introduced in 2013 in a partnership between pilot training and simulation organisation L3 Commercial Training Solutions (L3), Middlesex University and easyJet.

The seven pilots are the first in the country to graduate on the degree programme and all started their professional flying careers flying with easyJet.

They are the first of more than 130 students enrolled on the Middlesex University degree course while completing or having completed their airline pilot training at L3’s Airline Academy.

Training to become a pilot while completing the degree can also provide aspiring pilots access to student loans to help finance their studies.

EasyJet head of flight operations Brian Tyrrell said: “We have been delighted to work in partnership with L3 Commercial Training Solutions and Middlesex University to offer this degree course for our pilots which builds on the easyJet cadet programme that offers a clear career path for all pilots joining easyJet.

“L3’s Airline Academy graduates join easyJet as co-pilots and once they have completed their first year with us they can then join easyJet as permanent employees.

“After flying for a further two years and reaching 2,500 hours with easyJet they then become senior first officers. From that stage the aim is to achieve their command and become captains.

“With easyJet’s continued planned growth the time taken from first officer to captain is likely to be quicker than at other airlines. Beyond that there are further opportunities for pilots to develop their career whether that is into a training or management role.”

He added: “What this means is that those pilots joining easyJet now could well be looking at achieving their command within six years.”