Flight Operations – Pilot

Whether a Captain, a First Officer or Relief Pilot, an Air Canada pilot's number one priority is to conduct each flight safely with due consideration to passenger comfort and on-time performance.

While the typical work month consists of approximately 80 hours of flying, pilots spend many additional hours on such ground duties as preparing flight plans, readying the aircraft for departure, and completing post-flight reports. A day's work may vary from a long-range international flight to a sequence of shorter domestic flights. Reserve duty, in which the pilot is "on call", may also be assigned.

Air Canada pilots operate out of one of the four crew bases: Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg or Vancouver. Base preferences are awarded in seniority so pilots must be willing to relocate as assigned. Pilots typically begin their career as a First Officer on domestic aircraft or as a Relief Pilot on long-range, international flights.

Job Requirements

To fly for Air Canada, pilots must meet certain basic requirements:

  • 1000 hours of fixed wing flying time
  • Completion of schooling to the university entrance level. Ability to pass the Air Canada and Transport Canada medical and visual acuity requirements for a Category 1 medical certificate.  
  • Canadian Commercial Pilot licence, current Instrument Rating and Multi-Engine endorsement.
  • Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status.

Pilot applications far exceed job vacancies, so preference is given to candidates with qualifications beyond the basic requirements. Examples of desirable additional qualifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Canadian Airline Transport Pilot licence
  • University degree or college diploma
  • Aviation College diploma
  • Military or commercial flight experience
  • Jet and/or glass cockpit experience
  • Additional language(s)

Notice to all Pilots with military service hired by Air Canada after October 15, 2007

A pilot hired by Air Canada is automatically enrolled in the Air Canada Pension Plan - Pilots. This pension plan is a contributory pension plan, federally registered.

In accordance with the rules of the pension plan and the Air Canada Buy-back Policy, the pilot is given the opportunity to buy back his/her military service in the Air Canada Pension Plan - Pilots. Some conditions apply and the pilot has to apply for the buy-back within one year of the date of employment with Air Canada.

Effective October 15, 2007, the buy-back is at no cost to the Company, it is entirely paid by the pilot. The cost is determined by Air Canada using an age-related scale in accordance with its buy-back policy and depends on the actuarial assumptions applicable at the time of application.

Air Canada is currently interviewing candidates who meet these requirements.  If you are interested in a career as an Air Canada pilot, please submit and maintain your profile using the link at the end of this document.