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Avia Solutions Opens Pilot Pipeline Program

BAA Training Launches "Pilot Runway", Financed Training with "Guaranteed Job"

BAA Training has announced their own pilot training program along the same lines as US schools like ATP Flight Schools, training students while offering financing and a firm pathway to post-certification employment.

BAA Training says the time is right to establish a greatly expanded pilot minting industry, with the IATA estimating the global industry will require more than half a million new bodies to fill flight deck seats over the next 20 years. Regionals have been hit pretty hard in recent years, as legacies dip deeper into their pilot pools in order to address the wave of retirements caused by a timed-out Baby Boomer generation. That means it's a good time to offer students a way to actually end up in the cockpit on their own terms - not always a simple affair for those without deep enough pockets to finance it themselves. Flying is more expensive than ever, and most militaries around the world have pretty stiff competition to end up with a coved pilot slot. Unfortunately, few entities are willing to foot the bill for pilots to get their private certificate and noodle around in a 172 for a couple hundred hours, making dedicated, streamlined training options like the "Pilot Runway" a useful option to have, if a little pricey in general. BAA Training will start students from zero, basing them at locations in Spain, Lithuania, France, and Vietnam. Students will cut their teeth in the good ol' Skyhawk, later graduating on to FTDs and FFS systems emulating all the common carrier aircraft seen on ramps around the world.

Jonas Janukenas, CEO of Avia Solutions Group, comments that the new program will first serve the needs existing inside the Group itself: "As the largest ACMI provider, every bout of expansion brings our demand for qualified pilots up. However, the program will train pilots not only for group companies, but also for external airlines, as the shortage of these specialists is felt throughout the aviation industry."

The BAA Training option will follow the typical the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) program, which provides "extensive experience in piloting Airbus or Boeing aircraft" before graduating with an EASA Pilot License. From there, Pilot Runway says they get a guaranteed job at "one of the biggest ACMI airlines operated by Avia Solutions Group", where they will be given partial tuition reimbursement or loans to cover their outstanding debt. Stateside, such programs have a few of their own conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to retain promises of employment, so prospective students should do some homework and assume that FO seat could entail some extra elbow grease.

Marijus Ravoitis, CEO at BAA Training, said the program would be a great option in the EU. "The Pilot Runway program is going to make a big difference in the world of aviation. First, it will level the playing field for people dreaming of becoming pilots, making it easier to start their education without having to worry about financing. Second, it will provide airlines with a steady stream of new pilots."

FMI: www.aviasg.com


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