It's unusual for competing ATOs to launch joint press statements, however this is exactly what happened this week.
We united with three of Europe’s leading Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) in support of the pilot training industry and to demonstrate the duty of care provided to every trainee. Please scroll down to read the full press release.
The heads of FTA Global, FTEJerez, Skyborne Airline Academy and VA Airline Training are seeking to counter recent comments from BALPA that those considering a career in aviation should delay the start of their pilot training due to COVID-19.
Sean Jacob, CEO, FTA Global, says: “While the impact of the pandemic on airline recruitment has been significant, BALPA’s recommendation to simply stop pilot training is irresponsible and does not accurately reflect the situation we see every day.
“At the schools we represent, young people are starting pilot training throughout COVID-19, with our courses full and several airline programmes still running. Moreover, our airline customers recognise the need to maintain their pilot pipeline and tell us they will seek to take on new pilots from as early as next year.”
Oscar Sordo, CEO, FTEJerez, says: “The rallying in airline share value following the recent vaccines announcements is testament to market confidence in air travel recovery post-COVID-19.
“Moreover, those passionate about aviation research for months or years before they learn to fly, so choosing a career as a pilot is a well-considered decision. During this period, we’re encouraging all prospective trainees to continue this due diligence, carefully selecting the right training organisation to protect their significant career investment. Once this career path has been chosen, we see no reason in delaying enrolment on a training course as bargaining on landing an airline job straight after obtaining a licence would always be unwise.
“Most of our airline partners have kept their courses running when the pandemic emerged, reassuring their commitment to their cadets about their job prospects once the market picks up and the need for new pilots arises. These airlines, however, have frozen the commencement of any new cadet programmes, which means that the number of new pilots entering the job market from 2022 will reduce significantly and this pool will be made up predominately of self-sponsored students."
Lee Woodward, CEO, Skyborne, says: “Ceasing our ATO operations and pausing pilot training for the immediate future would not only lead to significant job losses among thousands of flight instructors, ground school instructors and support staff, it would be fundamentally damaging to the global aviation industry by ultimately creating a shortage of pilots.
“The latest Boeing forecast predicts 763,000 civil aviation pilots are needed over the next 20 years, with CAE recognising that 255,000 new pilots must enter training during the next decade to support growth and replacement. The pilot workforce is maturing, with 5% of older, experienced pilots now expected to leave the industry each year through early retirement or loss of pilot medical status.
“Despite COVID-19 we are seeing airlines continue to plan ahead, confirming new aircraft orders and expanding their fleets for the future, which will also drive job opportunities. I continue to have a very positive outlook for our industry and believe the recovery will occur much quicker than some analysts suggest.”
Anthony Petteford, MD, VA Airline Training, says: “Airline pilot training typically has a two-year lead time, from initial research, to application, selection and the course itself, so students beginning training now will emerge at a much more advanced stage of COVID-19 recovery.
“Throughout this pandemic, I’ve been so proud of the positive energy and action we’ve seen to support the pilot community. Our ATOs have launched several measures to protect the job prospects of both current trainees and graduates if they face a delay to airline placement. *
“We look forward to starting a conversation with BALPA on behalf of the pilot training community and working together to support the pilot pipeline throughout these unprecedented times.”
FTA Global, FTEJerez, Skyborne Airline Academy and VA Airline Academy would like to join forces with other ATOs worldwide to provide impartial advice for any young person considering a career as an airline pilot. To find out more please email using the links below.