ASG begins pilot runway program, aiming to train 200 new pilots annually

Avia Solutions Group

Avia Solutions Group, the world’s largest ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) provider, with a fleet of 212 aircraft, via its subsidiary BAA Training announces the launching Pilot Runway – a financed training program with a job guarantee. The program anticipates the Group’s global expansion and growth and will be run in partnership with the Group’s ACMI companies, starting with Avion Express.  

The aviation industry is facing a significant challenge as the demand for pilots grows. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that airlines will have to recruit between 500,000 and 600,000 new pilots over the next two decades. Regional airlines are in a particularly difficult situation, as an increasing number of pilots are going into early retirement. The Pilot Runway program aims to train up to 200 new pilots annually, tackling this industry-wide challenge head-on.

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.”

Pilot Runway’s students will follow the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) program, which provides extensive experience in piloting Airbus or Boeing aircraft. Upon graduation, students will receive the globally recognized EASA Pilot License, which is valid in Europe and beyond. They will also be guaranteed a job at one of the biggest ACMI airlines operated by Avia Solutions Group. Prospective students will be offered partial funding covering a substantial part of the tuition fees, whereas specific airlines will offer the necessary loans to cover the remaining study costs. Several years ago, BAA already tested this kind of project in one of the regions it is operating in.

Marijus Ravoitis, CEO at BAA Training, mentions the two-fold benefit of the project: “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.”

Pilot Runway program students will be studying at BAA Training schools. BAA Training offers comprehensive aviation training solutions for pilots, ranging from Ab Initio training to Type Rating, available across multiple locations, including Spain, Lithuania, France, and Vietnam. Every year, the organization processes around 100,000 flight hours in its own full-flight simulators and flight training devices, and provides Type Rating for more than 1200 pilots, serving over 100 airlines and 300 private customers. The company invests in the latest tools and resources to be the top choice pilot school. Recently it acquired 48 Cessna 172 Skyhawks, adding them to the existing fleet of full-flight simulators and flight training devices for Airbus A320, Boeing 737 MAX, Boeing 737 NG, Boeing 737 CL, and Boeing B747-400 types.

(Credit: Avia Solutions Group)
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