Home' Asian Aviation : AAV June 2019 Contents 20 AsianAviation | June 2019
pilot creation that helps cadets flourish earlier and improves the
likelihood of success through out a pilot’s career is a joint aspiration
and mutual goal. Likewise, new training systems that make better
use of real-time data and analytical insights are more than a show-
case for innovation,” he says.
CAE works with 300 airlines and trains more than 135,000 pilots
annually. In the last 18 months, it has launched more than 40 long-
term pilot training agreements, with a minimum of three years and
2,000 hours of training, with airlines around the world. The company
has a significant imprint in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the
low-cost carrier (LCC) sector.
Recent training contracts secured in the region include a 25-year
pilot and cabin crew training agreement with AirAsia and all of its
subsidiaries; a two-year pilot training contract with Air Busan in
South Korea; a three-year pilot training deal with Asiana; a six-
year pilot training agreement with Jetstar Japan; a 10-year pilot
training deal with Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific; as well as
the establishment of a joint flight training centre in Singapore with
CAE has installed extensive training resources
and equipment in the region, Leontidis notes,
including Boeing 787, 777 and 747 simulators at
the Singapore centre; Airbus A350 and A320
simulators at CAE Tokyo; A350 and 787 simula-
tors at CAE Ho Chi Minh; an A320 simulator at
CAE’s Jakarta centre; and an A320Neo simulator
at the CAE Clark facility in the Philippines.
The increasing demand for pilots is forcing airlines and service
providers to change their ways, CAE believes. Leontidis tells Asian
Aviation: “Airlines are getting involved much earlier in the pilot creation
process. They are looking for training to their unique professional
standards from day one. Airlines are not just looking for first officers
to fill the right seat. They ’re looking for candidates with the potential
to become captains within their organisations.”
Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region are being proactive in ensuring
a future pilot pipeline, with a number establishing their own pilot
training schools or establishing long-term partnerships with training
Qantas, for example, is establishing its own pilot academy in
Toowoomba, Queensland, set to open this year in an A$35 million
(US$24.25 million) investment. Toowoomba will be the first of two
academies for the Australian carrier, which will have an eventual
capacity to train up to 500 pilots per annum. L3 Commercial Aviation
has been appointed as the training provider.
In addition, Qantas regional operation QantasLink has created the
Qantas Future Pilots Programme in partnership with six Australian
universities to provide graduates with a direct career transition to
Fellow Australian carrier Virgin Australia Group is establishing
a pilot training centre in Tamworth, New South Wales to help the
airline meet its pilot needs.
Australia’s largest regional carrier Regional Express (Rex) es-
tablished its own pilot training school, the Australian Airline Pilot
Academy (AAPA), over 11 years ago after the pilot shortage — ex-
acerbated by Australian majors Qantas and Virgin poaching its
flight crews — resulted in it having to cancel flights and impacting
its on-time performance record. Rex has invested more than A$35
million in Wagga Wagga-based AAPA and in its first 10 years of
operation alone it produced 200-plus Rex cadets who transitioned
to the airline and its subsidiaries as first officers.
Fast-growing LCCs across the region have established their
own pilot training programmes in conjunction with training service
providers. AirAsia, for example, has a long-term programme with
CAE. AirAsia initially operated its own training company, the Asian
Aviation Centre of Excellence, as a 50:50 joint venture with CAE,
with training centres in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, but
sold its share to CAE in 2017. Since then AirAsia has completely
outsourced its training needs to CAE. The LCC giant employs
more than 3,200 pilots globally with an even greater requirement
in the future as its fleet over the next 10 years grows exponentially.
Jetstar Asia, meanwhile, has a cadet pilot training programme with
L3, with cadets conducting ground school training in Singapore,
flight training at L3’s training centre in Hamilton, New Zealand,
followed by A320 type rating with Jetstar Asia.
Indian LCC IndiGo recently selected UK-based Skyborne Airline
Academy to train up to 100 pilots per annum over the next five years
as part of the LCC’s cadet pilot programme. The 18-month pro-
gramme sees cadets train for a US Federal Aviation Administration
and Indian DGCA Commercial Pilots Licence and A320 Type Rating
before they join the LCC as a first officer.
“Our partnership with Skyborne will provide us with a steady
flow of highly-skilled, internationally trained airline pilots over the
next five years,” says IndiGo senior vice president flight operations,
Captain Ashim Mittra. “ The Indian aviation market is the fastest
developing in the world, undergoing growth of 17 percent year-on-
year. It is expected that airlines in India will require up to 10,000 new
pilots by 2030 to meet demand,” he adds.
Japanese low-cost carrier Peach Aviation has also recently es-
tablished its own in-house pilot training programme in conjunction
with parent ANA Group and Airbus. The first part of the training will
be conducted by L3 in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with
candidates completing their training in Japan with Honda Airways
before working at Peach. Previously, the Japanese LCC had recruited
pilots from universities or flight schools.
Airlines are not just looking for first officers to fill the right
seat. They’re looking for candidates with the potential to
become captains within their organisations.
NICK LEONTIDIS, CAE
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