Ab-Initio Programme


ab initio

Training to be an Air Astana pilot

Do you want to become a pilot?

Do you dream to aviate on a modern aircraft?

Do you want to face the challenges of the profession?

Air Astana operates to the highest standards and recruits only the most suitable candidates for each role within the airline. However, for people with the right aptitude, education and motivation, it is possible to train for the role of pilot with Air Astana “from scratch”. Such individuals receive rigorous training and, if successful, graduate to one of the most important jobs in our organization.

Air Astana offers Initial Pilot Preparation Program Ab-Initio (Latin for “from the beginning”). We are looking for young Kazakhstani citizens from 18 to 34 years old with excellent knowledge in Physics and Math and who are fluent in English.

Selection of candidates is performed on a permanent basis and includes several stages. Candidates, who are successful on all stages of the selection process, will have an opportunity to enroll to leading aviation schools in the world. To read some of our Success Stories, please click here.

If you believe you have what it takes, please bring or send required documents (see the list below) to Air Astana at:

Human Resources Department

Air Astana
Air Astana Centre 1
4A Zakarpatskaya Street
Almaty 050039
Tel.: +7 (727) 330 90 77
Fax: +7 (727) 259 87 04

The Ab-Initio Selection Process

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

1. Have Citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan
2. Be between 18 and 34 years old
3. Have completed high-school certificate or equivalent
4. Have good command of English
5. Have good health to meet medical committee requirements
6. Have a clean police record
7. Have a valid international passport
8. Be eligible for Schengen visa
9. Agree to sign a bond for a minimum of 7 years period for employment as a pilot with Air Astana and to refund 50% of total cost of the training.

1.2. Following candidates are eligible for selection:

1. University graduates (specialization according to diploma is not important);
2. High school/college graduates, university students who scored 80 and above on Common National Testing or Integrated Testing of University Entrants. Test date is not important;
3. High school/college graduates, university students without Common National Testing or Integrated Testing of University Entrants test results who are holders of “Altyn Belgi” medal and/or awardees of Republican Subject Olympiad on Physics and/or Math.

2. Candidates’ Documents Review

2.1. To participate in the programme a candidate must submit the following:

1. Filled Ab-Initio application form
2. Copy of ID card and passport
3. Copy of certificate of secondary education with supplement
4. Copy of diploma (certificate of degree, bachelor/master) with supplement (for candidates specified in p.1.2 subparagraph 1).
5. Curriculum vitae
6. Two reference letters from last place of study or employment

2.2. Candidates, whose documents are provided according to the list above and satisfy the requirements, will be invited to selection phases.

3. Candidates Selection
The selection process consists of the following stages:

3.1. Screening
1. SHL tests (VMG verbal analysis ability test and NMG numerical analysis ability test)
2. Medical examination of a candidate by Kazakhstani Medical Committee

3.2. Assessment
1. COMPASS (Computerized Pilot Aptitude Screening System) assessment
2. Interview with Air Astana representatives
3. Interview with the selection board which consists of flight school representatives and Air Astana representatives (Flight Operations department, Human Resources department)


1. If candidate fails medical examination (p.3.1. subparagraph 4) he/she will not be able to proceed to the following stages. Candidate is allowed to re-apply only after successful completion of the medical examination;

2. If a candidate fails SHL test (p.3.1. subparagraph 1.), COMPASS test (p. 3.2. subparagraph 1), interview with Air Astana representatives (p. 3.2. subparagraph 2), or interview with the flight school representatives (p. 3.2. subparagraph 3), the possibility to re-apply is determined by Air Astana Ab-Initio Selection Committee. The Committee may grant only one chance to re-take any of the programme stages.

3. Before the start of the programme candidates are required to pass medical examination to receive EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) Class 1 Medical Certificate.