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Tue, Jun 10, 2008

CAE Acquires Sabena Flight Academy To Combat Pilot Shortage

Plans To Expand Ab-Initio Training, Add New Type-Rating Programs

ANN has learned CAE recently acquired Sabena Flight Academy for cash consideration in order to expand its ab-initio training capability and CAE Global Academy and to add new type-rating training programs in Europe.

Sabena Flight Academy (SFA) specializes in ab-initio pilot training as well as type-rating training for airlines. It operates an ab-initio flight academy equipped with approximately 40 aircraft in Mesa, Arizona, USA, and a six-simulator training center in Brussels, Belgium. Sabena Flight Academy is a JAA- and JAR-approved Flight Training Organization (FTO) with 135 employees and more than 50 years of experience in professional pilot training.

"This strategic bolt-on acquisition is another step towards developing our training network in order to better address the global pilot shortage. It is also in support of our CAE Global Academy as it will bring our capacity to train cadets to more than 1,400 a year globally. The acquisition will also enhance CAE’s ability to deliver type-rating training in Europe as it adds new training programs and an extensive range of new customers to our network," said Jeff Roberts, CAE’s Group President, Innovation and Civil Training and Services.

"Sabena Flight Academy is a first-class operation with a solid management team and a proven track-record of profitability and customer service. Its Brussels training center and the mix of its simulator fleet complement well our existing training network and our Brussels training center,” Jeff Roberts added. "It is a pleasure to welcome the leaders of SFA Jacques Waldeyer and Kris Van den Bergh to the CAE team. Jacques will lead all of our Brussels operations and Kris the flight training organization in Arizona and contribute to the leadership of our global ab-initio training operations."

Sabena Flight Academy (SFA) is one of Europe’s oldest and most respected pilot training organizations. After providing Sabena Airlines with world class pilots for more than 60 years SFA has become an independent training center operating on two continents and training more than 400 cadet pilots per year.

SFA offers cadet training, advanced training, medical services and aviation consulting. These services are customer-oriented for airlines and self-sponsored pilot candidates. The Brussels-based simulator center currently operates AVRO RJ85/100, Airbus 320, 330, 340 and Boeing 737 and 737NG full-flight simulators. The Arizona-based flight academy currently operates a fleet of approximately 40 aircraft, including an Eclipse 500 VLJ.

CAE is a world leader in providing simulation and modelling technologies and integrated training solutions for the civil aviation industry and defence forces around the globe. The company employs more than 6,000 people at more than 75 sites and training locations in 20 countries.

FMI: www.cae.com, www.sfa.be

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