Recently there was a bit of a flutter in some Israeli media about Turkish Airlines hiring Iranian pilots. Given the current heated emotions in the Levant, the tension is understandable.
We contacted Turkish to ask about this. Here is the reply we were sent:
“We have around 600 foreign pilots from up to 100 different countries. Only a few of them are Iranian.
We are also going to roadshows to everywhere in the world to find pilots to make up for the very fast growing fleet. Iran is one of the countries we have visited and we received many applications, but have not hired anyone yet. We believe even when we hire it wont be more than 50.
Also Iran has one of the highest ICAO scores, they are perfectly compatible pilots. ”
The Israeli reaction is somewhat over excited. Turkish is one of the fastest growing airlines and has to go shopping for skills around the world. In this regard it competes with the Gulf carriers, who also are always looking for talent. It is interesting that Turkish has found the Iranians to be good pilots. Possibly the continuous trials of flying aircraft found in museums in other countries has made the Iranian commercial pilots more highly skilled.