To Ensure Its Planes Have Pilots, Airbus Is Opening Its Own Flight Academy

Feb 28, 2019

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Aircraft manufacturers have been sounding the alarm of an upcoming airline pilot shortage around the globe.

Boeing has predicted an “unprecedented” demand of 790,000 pilots for airlines worldwide during the next 20 years due to “record-high air travel demand and a tightening labor supply.” Airbus predicts that Europe alone will need 94,000 new pilots during the next 20 years. So to help solve the problem, it has decided to start its own pilot academy.

The plane builder announced Thursday that it would open a new academy, dubbed the Airbus Flight Academy Europe, to train airline pilots in Angoulême, France. Its pilot cadet training program will be “ab-initio,” meaning it will start pilots off from the very beginning of the training process. The curriculum will include 750 hours of ground school, plus 200 hours of flight training.

Flight students will be trained on a fleet of single and multi-engine aircraft that are “equipped with full digital cockpit technology,” as well as the latest flight simulators. At end of training, students will be “operationally-ready pilots.”

The program is open to high school graduates 18 years or older, worldwide. Applicants will undergo online and on-site screening tests to determine if they will be admitted to the school.

Airbus says the academy will educate up to 200 pilots per year.

Featured photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images.

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