Flying for BMI Regional as a Pilot

In our newest series of blogs, the theme is “what it’s like to fly for” a particular airline.
The AirlinePrep team have accumulated thousands of hours working for major UK and international airlines and we are well connected through our previous clients to other airlines.
In this blog, we talk about ‘what it’s like to fly for BMI Regional’ and provide some basic recruitment info.

The Airline

BMI Regional is a leading and award winning Regional Airline, that have been flying independently since 2012 but previous to this, they started as an airline called Business Air in 1982 and became part British Midland group in the late 80’s to early 90’s. 

The Airline has approximately 250 - 300 Pilots, with bases at Bristol, Munich, Birmingham, Aberdeen & Karlstad (Sweden).The airline flies its own passengers as well as code sharing with Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa & Adria.

Aircraft, Routes and Flying 

The airline has a fleet including 4 EMB 135s and 15 EMB 145s, all glass cockpit and CAT II approach certified but no auto-land.

The routes serve mainly business destinations such as Paris, Milan, Munich, Brussels, Frankfurt, Aberdeen, Norwich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Karlstad & Jonkoping. These are the BMI routes and there are more destinations with code share partners.

The airline operates ACMI charter flights for Premier League teams  including Man Utd, Chelsea & Arsenal amongst others. The airline also has a partnership with Bath RFC. Other interesting charter work has included flying people from the music industry including Kylie Minogue, The Killers & Depeche Mode.

They also do charter work for large blue chip companies including Airbus, Jaguar Landrover & Augusta Westland


The good news is that the airline does not fly any deep night flights, with mainly early reports starting at 0530 and later finishes around 2330. Typically Pilots fly 4 sector per day but depending on the routes, this can increase to 6.

The airline aims to deliver a fixed roster pattern of 5 days on followed by 2 days off or 6 days on and 3 days off. You can expect to have one full weekend off in every 6.

30 days leave a year can be expected with bids submitted via email to the rostering and leave team.
You can choose to preference your roster to minimum or maximum night stops away in Europe. For example a maximum night stop Pilot could have a whole working week in another base operating W pattern flights.

Opportunities and Training

Embraer training is delivered at CAE Burgess Hill and the Training department is known to deliver very high quality training. A full type rating through to completion of full line training followed by final line check takes approximately 3 months. LPC/OPC sim checks are on a recurrent 6 monthly cycle.

Experienced First Officers can be asked to mentor and deliver procedural training.

The ranks are First Officer, Senior First Officer and Command.

Time to Command is based on minimum EASA requirements of 3000 hours.


BMI Regional recruit First Officers and Direct Entry Captains. Depending on the role applied for the stages of recruitment include:
  • ADAPT aptitude testing
  • A multiple choice ATPL exam
  • A group exercise
  • A technical and HR interview
  • A simulator assessment

Newly qualified First Officers could expect to complete the entire process whereas a Direct Entry Captain would most likely not need to complete the aptitude testing.

For more detailed information about the BMI Regional recruitment process, try AirlinePrep The App which is available directly from our website. The App contains a dedicated BMI Regional recruitment brief with feedback ATPL and interview questions as well as a comprehensive information on the simulator check.

Our courses are perfect preparation for your forthcoming Airline Pilot interview and assessment. Courses include:

  • 1 to 1 competency based interview
  • Group exercises
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Maths refresher training
  • Interview training
  • Group Exercise training
  • Career development and Pilot skills seminar
If you would like to know more about how we can support and help you with your Airline or Cadet Pilot interview, then please feel free to contact us.