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SunExpress hires Type-Rated and Non-Type-Rated B737 Captains using AeroProfessional’s recruitment expertise

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Captain Recruitment

Permanent Recruitment

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Timely Solutions


SunExpress is an award winning Turkish German airline that was founded in 1989 in Antalya, Türkiye. Formed through a strategic partnership between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, SunExpress is dedicated to providing direct flights connecting Europe and Türkiye. In 2023, the airline needed to rapidly onboard more permanent Captains to support its expanding operations, which led it to seek the expertise of AeroProfessional for pilot recruitment. This collaboration aimed to address the airline's immediate staffing requirements and ensure the continued delivery of high-quality services to its passengers. The tailored campaign delivered exceptional results for SunExpress with a 100% accepted rate from offered candidates. ​



SunExpress ordered 50 new B737 aircraft in 2014, with 18 of them having already been delivered. As the airline was waiting to receive the rest of its aircraft, it needed to find Type-Rated and Non-Type-Rated B737 pilots to join them on a permanent basis.  Recognising how time consuming the pilot recruitment and assessment process can be, SunExpress decided to turn to experienced aviation recruitment agency, AeroProfessional, in order to make the process easier and faster for them.


AeroProfessional is a reputable recruitment consultancy specialising in aviation recruitment. Over the years, it has successfully built a vast candidate network, comprising over 30,000 aviation professionals, including pilots, cabin crew, and aircraft engineers. SunExpress saw great value in AeroProfessional's extensive experience and candidate connections which includes some of the industry’s most highly skilled and experienced B737 pilots.


In Autumn 2023, SunExpress partnered with AeroProfessional to recruit Type-Rated and Non-Type-Rated B737 pilots, all of whom would be required to permanently relocate for the role. With that in mind, AeroProfessional soon began devising a tailored marketing strategy to attract the right candidates and fulfil SunExpress’s recruitment needs. The search and selection process was carefully planned to ensure that the applicants understood all the requirements.


AeroProfessional conducted a number of SunExpress branded marketing campaigns through its bespoke client portal, separately targeting Type-Rated and Non-Type-Rated B737 Captains, as well as those who were open to relocation. The airline was involved throughout the process for co-monitoring the results and the candidate interest that the campaigns generated.


AeroProfessional targeted Non-Type rated candidates based on set criteria that included total jet time, and time on aircraft above a certain maximum take-off weight. The campaign combined access to their internal database, alongside their wider candidate network, allowing direct candidate contact with over 100,000 European pilots.


Due to the positions requiring relocation, AeroProfessional ran specific marketing campaigns aimed at boosting interest in the location, as well as creating a briefing pack with further information about the location for interested candidates. The briefing pack’s purpose was to counteract any misconceptions about relocating overseas.


AeroProfessional’s candidate care process helped to significantly reduce attrition rates in SunExpress’s recruitment process. This highlights their efficiency and diligence in maintaining contact with the candidates throughout the selection and assessment process, listening to their feedback and ensuring that they remained committed to joining SunExpress.


The recruitment experts at AeroProfessional screened and interviewed hundreds of shortlisted candidates to confirm that they qualified against the terms and conditions on offer, and their industry-leading process led to a remarkable 100% acceptance rate among the candidates who were offered the roles.

SunExpress acknowledged AeroProfessional’s methodical efforts and named it as their most successful recruitment partner during their 2023/2024 campaign. This demonstrates the effectiveness of AeroProfessional’s recruitment strategies and methods, which helped the airline achieve its recruitment goals.


It was a pleasure to collaborate with SunExpress on their recent B737 Captain recruitment. Supporting clients who are so aligned with our objectives and processes brings us great satisfaction. Given the unprecedented competitive market for B737 Captains, SunExpress recognised the need to adapt their hiring strategy and widen the net to include Non-Type-Rated Captains. This more flexible approach enabled them to find the best candidates with great success. As a result, we were delighted to have concluded the hiring process ahead of schedule in early January 2024.

Dean O'Sullivan 
Operations Manager at AeroProfessional
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The journey of recruiting top-tier talent is often turbulent, yet the collaboration between SunExpress and AeroProfessional soared above expectations, proving that when expertise meets ambition, the sky is truly the limit.

Yiğid Acar
Head of HRBP at SunExpress
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