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New flightpath for Gulf's aspiring airline pilots

Posted 7 July 2017 · Add Comment

Prospective airline pilots in the GCC states have a new training option. Dave Calderwood reports.

The UK’s Airways Aviation and Dubai-based Emirates Aviation Services have formed a partnership to offer a direct route to a private pilot licence (PPL) in the UAE.
Emirates Aviation Services will deliver the Airways Aviation core multi-crew pilot licence (MPL) training programme in Dubai.
This concept of local foundation course and initial training follows the model created by Airways Aviation. It helps student pilots through the early stages because they can usually stay at home, reducing costs, and they also have the support of family and friends.
And, if they decide during the training that a career as a professional pilot isn’t for them, then the financial outlay isn’t huge.
However, if the student pilot does make it through to achieve the PPL, then he or she has the option of further training with Airways Aviation, either at its European flying base at Huesca, Spain, or at one of three locations in Australia.
The student will undertake a course for the MPL, the latest route through to an airline pilot’s licence.
“The UAE is an important region for Airways Aviation,” explained CEO Ian Cooper. “Middle Eastern airlines are highly desired by prospective pilots, so it makes complete sense for us to partner with Emirates Aviation Services, an established training provider in the UAE. We are now working together to provide high-quality airline pilot training for local students and a direct pathway on to the flight line.
“We already have one of our foundation schools in Dubai and this adds a flying base to feed through to one of our hubs.”
Abdullah Al Ansari, director, Emirates Aviation Services, said: “This partnership with Airways Aviation will enable us to achieve our vision of being a leading training provider of airline pilots. Utilising the company’s exceptional quality of training programmes and senior teaching staff, we’re confident that we will produce some of the best pilots in the UAE.”
Airways Aviation is continuing to expand its network of foundation schools, with two more due to open this year – one in Europe and the other in Kuwait, at the College of Aviation Technology.
It’s also pursuing relationships with airlines; important for students to feel confident about gaining employment as a first officer once they’ve completed training.
“We have more agreements with airlines coming on line in 2017,” said Cooper. “The are four agreements, with both Middle Eastern and European airlines, which we will announce soon.”
The company, headquartered at London Oxford Airport, UK, is also rolling out an ambitious set of sponsorship packages for student pilots. These were launched in Paris, France in February, the initial stop in an international recruitment roadshow, the first staged by Airways Aviation. The roadshow visits five other European countries, finishing in Prague, in the Czech Republic on May 13.
The sponsorship is for €40,000 ($43,460) towards the cost of a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) integrated pilot training course starting later in 2017. The company intends to follow this first roadshow with others in countries where it has foundation schools, including the Middle East.
“We are inviting prospective airline pilots to attend one of our recruitments days to discover more about our training programmes and how we tailor them to the individual student, as well as apply to win a scholarship on to our airline pilot training course,” said Cooper.
“These scholarships form part of Airways Aviation’s commitment to creating equal opportunities and reducing barriers to entering the pilot profession. We will extend this programme beyond the initial locations to offer financial scholarships to potential aviators in a bid to encourage both domestic and international students to pursue their career goals to the highest level.”
At each of the roadshow events, would-be airline pilots will be able to take an aptitude assessment, using the industry-standard COMPASS test, for which they will need to pay a €50 ($54) administration fee. Only the top-scoring candidates will be invited to apply for the scholarship programme. The application process will be rigorous, involving a strict English test and a panel interview in Oxford.
 

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