Theory and practice

Your training progression in Switzerland

Your training path to becoming a pilot in the SWISS cockpits

Training details and schedule at EFA in SwitzerlandE

With the ordinary pilot license you are qualified to fly large airplanes of various makes and models within the context of your professional activities, first as co-pilot and later also as captain.
The ATP license is subject to EASA standards and opens up a wide range of opportunities for cockpit jobs with Swiss airlines such as SWISS and Edelweiss, all other Lufthansa Group airlines, as well as many other European airlines.
Learn more about how to acquire the necessary abilities step by step at the European Flight Academy that will enable you to embark on your professional career as a pilot.

Training progression in Switzerland


In Switzerland, the training schedule alternates between the theoretical and practical phases, which means that the theoretical lessons learned in theory can be applied in practice immediately. The close proximity between the location of the theoretical training in Zurich and the flight training location in Grenchen makes the multi-faceted training concept possible. With your initial flight experience you will continue to train your visual flight skills in Phoenix before perfecting your instrument flight skills at the Swiss locations and also completing your training with your final thesis.


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At the EFA location in Zurich you will learn the theory of the basics of flying – meteorology, air traffic laws, navigation, and a lot more – divided into three sections. Experienced teachers have designed the phases to be multi-faceted and diverse, with e-learning modules as well as independent self-study. 
The theory phases will be concluded with a theoretical exam conducted by the Bundesamt für Zivilluftfahrt (BAZL, Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation). This exam represents an important milestone in your flight training.

During the practical phases in Grenchen you will learn the basics of flying on our DA40NG with a glass cockpit. One of the highlights of this phase is your first solo flight in Grenchen.

For the practical phase II, the program moves to Phoenix in the USA. This is where your advanced flight training, i. e. flying under visual flight rules, takes place. At the same time, your instrument flight training begins here.

After learning the instrument flight basics in the USA, this phase involves applying and deepening your knowledge in European airspace at one of the FNPTs in Zurich.

Working together with other pilots, you will learn to pilot a commercial aircraft during the MCC phase. You will be part of the cockpit team of Pilot Monitoring and Pilot Flying and will acquire skills in areas such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making. The realistic training in state-of-the-art simulators will become more complex in preparation for your first flight in a commercial aircraft.

The training will be concluded by your obtaining the pilot license, which enables you to embark on your dream career in the cockpit as First Officer. The training in Switzerland, along with your flight experience, constitutes a profession recognized as an occupation requiring training module.

Depending on airline demand, it might take some time for you to apply successfully for a place in the cockpit of an LHG airline or of an airline outside of Lufthansa Group. We will be by your side in this phase and will actively support you in placing you into cockpit jobs that become available with potential employers.

If a suitable cockpit job opens up, the possible future employer airline will conduct an interview or assessment with you after your application which, if successful, will end with recruitment. The airline will then usually assume the costs for the training modules regarding specific type rating and landing training.

Two people sit opposite each other and have a conversation.

You will receive your type rating – i. e. the training for a specific type of aircraft – in the corresponding three-month type rating training phase. Whether this is an Airbus A320, an Embraer 195, or another type of aircraft depends on which airline you are going to join. After the subsequent landing training you will be ready for deployment. Or: “Cleared for take-off”!

We now wish you good luck in your dream job as a pilot! May this be the start of a successful career. You have acquired the ideal tools during your training at EFA.

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