At the beginning of 2019, the first two cadets finished Avion Express Cadet Programme. It is a big step in the lives of the young pilots and the company as well. Jonar Hanak and Oliver Bjurling are highly motivated and hard-working. They took the opportunity to pursue their dream of becoming professional pilots and showed that it takes dedication and persistency to reach this goal.

Jonar Hanak was studying Music Production in Stockholm when he unexpectedly found his passion. “My friend had Microsoft Flight Simulator X, I started playing around with it by accident and got completely hooked,” says Jonar, who was 16 years old at the time. Fast forward a couple of months, and he quit Music Production and took up Natural Science – all to pursue his newly-found dream of becoming a pilot. Oliver Bjurling developed his passion for aviation with the Natural Science programme as well. Although he has been interested in this field since Oliver can remember, it was when he graduated high school in Sweden and started traveling more when he realised that nothing brought him as much joy as flying.

Jonar and Oliver first heard about Avion Express when the company opened its Cadet Programme. An important factor when choosing the Programme was the nature of business – as an ACMI operator, Avion Express has an ever-changing and diverse route network. But no less crucial was the atmosphere. The positive feedback that the then-cadets received from the people who work for the company left no doubt that this was where they wanted to go. “After visiting Avion Express headquarters for the interview and speaking to the company’s team members, I got a very good feeling. It felt like Avion Express was one big family”, says Jonar. Oliver agrees. Although his initial plan was to get an ATPL independently and then start applying for a job as Flight Crew, once he got to the interview with Avion Express, Oliver “got a good feeling” about it and decided to pursue his flying career with the airline. Now that the guys have completed their paths as Avion Express cadets, they see that there is one common trait that the company’s cadets have which is based on what Avion Express employees possess themselves – positive attitude.

Both Jonar and Oliver joined the Avion Express Cadet Programme having a certain idea of what Avion Express was all about. Did their experience live up to the expectations? “It was great!” say young pilots. “We were invited to a lot of events which made us feel like a part of the team early on. And also Avion Express sent their own instructors for the type-rating and skill check which felt really considerate and motivating”. But the learning process wasn’t all covered in roses. The cadets have to cope with the constant pressure to perform and be at their best, which can be very exhausting and intense. Future pilots need to study and improve all the time, from the very first day of the Programme to type-rating, company course, and line training. According to Jonar and Oliver, improving the skills is really important from the first day of the training to the day of retirement.

The cadets indeed work hard all the time to reach their dream and prove that they are capable of performing their duties. ”We are rigorously trained and checked initially and also continuously throughout our career. We have to show that we can manage the most unlikely and complex situations,” says Jonar. Oliver adds that in the cockpit pilots work as a team, monitor one another to learn from the experience and skills that each of them possesses. And fulfilling their passion is worth all the effort. “All our instructors from the type-rating were amazing and if the rest of the team is anything close to that, I can’t wait to meet the rest of my new colleagues,” says Jonar.

According to the newly-graduated pilots, being pioneers of Avion Express Cadet Programme is a privilege as they can become a motivation to those still studying or contemplating taking this path. ”Work hard and try to soak up as much as possible. It will help later on during type-rating as you will be more in the loop and have a deeper understanding. It will be tiring and tough at times but in the end it will all be worth it” advise Jonar and Oliver to their colleagues at the Avion Express Cadet Programme and future cadets too.

Avion Express Cadet Programme is developed in cooperation with Avion Express long-term partner BAA Training. As part of the partnership, BAA Training has been providing the full-flight simulators for the pilot training of Avion Express. Additionally, the two companies created a Type Rating Training Programme. In April 2019, Avion Express and BAA Training announced the launch of the first MPL Training Programme.