Man who becames the UK’s youngest pilot set to launch his own airline

Man who becames the UK’s youngest pilot in his teens is now set to launch his own airline aged 22

A man who became Britain’s youngest airline pilot in his teens, is now soaring to new heights by launching his own airline. 

Seth Van Beek, 22, from London, is said to be in talks with financial investors to help solidify the major move.

The ambitious pilot first hit headlines back in 2020 when he became the UK’s youngest qualified commercial pilot at just 18 – after his mother sold their family home to help fund flying lessons.

Seth’s mother Frances, 42, saved up a staggering £85,000 for a flight school course, which saw him complete 150 hours in the air before passing with flying colours.

And now the pilot told has told of his excitement at the prospect of his own carrier, which he says has been ‘fully approved in principle’.

Seth Van Beek, 22, from London, became Britain’s youngest airline pilot at 18, and is now set to launch his own airline

He told The Express: ‘There is a lot of interest from one particular investment banker who is looking at the business plan as we speak. I have come a long way and not just in the last four years’.

Seth indeed has come along way, even though his hopes were nearly thrown off course by the pandemic travel ban.

The pilot, who now flies private jets, explained that his career was nearly cut short when the pandemic deemed it impossible to respond to job prospects.

Seth’s career was planned out from the tender age of eight, and he soon got to work learning subjects like visual flight training, before eventually becoming qualified.

He pursued his dream profession with grit, and through a combination of relentless calls and emails he was finally rewarded with his first job. 

The ambitious pilot says he has he major interest from 'one particular investment banker'

The ambitious pilot says he has he major interest from ‘one particular investment banker’

But after months on end the lad still couldn’t hit the skies.

It took another cash injection of £20,000, this time from both his mother and grandmother, alongside another flying course before he could break down the door.

Their labour paid off, and to everyone’s delight, he was called up by a British airline company.

Now Seth is keen for other youngsters to follow in his footsteps, and is looking to set up a scholarship for would-be pilots in Africa.

He said: ‘I’ve had such good fortune in my life. Now is the time to pay it forward’.

He adds there are other ways to learn aviation skills, including Government-funded schemes like Talentview Aviation or Aviation Skills Recruitment Platform.

Seth left school at 16 after doing his GCSEs and managed to pass the gruelling entrance exams to attended Egnatia Aviation Training College in Greece. 

In April 2018, he began 18 months’ training at the academy. He sat 14 exams, alternating between learning theory and practical flying at Greece’s Kavala International Airport.

The teenager would take to the skies up to five times a week during his practical stints, initially for just 60 minutes, but eventually flying for five hours. 

He graduated at the top of his class, getting his licence from the European Aviation Safety Agency a month later.

He remains grateful to mum Frances who sold their three-bedroom home in Milton Keynes and downsized to a flat to free up £85,000 for his course and accommodation fees.