Virgin Atlantic offers training for would-be pilots with no flying experience" alt="" width="299" height="199" align="right" class="newsArticleImage">

Potential pilots with no flying experience are being offered the chance to train to fly Virgin Atlantic long-haul aircraft.

An 18-month pilot training programme has been launched by the airline in conjunction with Southampton-based training firm CTC Aviation.

Would-be pilots will undergo pre-flight training and?flight deck simulation at a new CTC centre in Southampton and flight training in Phoenix, Arizona.

The course leads to the Civil Aviation Authority's multi pilot licence and a position as a Virgin Atlantic co-pilot on Airbus A330s, the Press Association reported.

Applicants are required to have a minimum of five GCSEs or equivalent including maths, science and English.

Virgin's flight operations general manager, David Kistruck, said: "Our people have always been at the heart of Virgin Atlantic and we're delighted to offer this opportunity to a whole new generation of flyers.

"They'll be part of the Virgin family from day one and will enjoy an opportunity like no other, as the only trainee pilots in Europe to fly straight on to long-haul aircraft on