SEAIR taps AAG for Pilot Training

By Lawrence Agcaoili
The Philippine Star

October 09, 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Budget carrier Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair) has tied up with UK-based Alpha Aviation Group (AAG) for the training of its pilots in anticipation of a surge in demand for pilots over the next 20 years.

Seair chief executive officer Patrick Tan said the tie-up would help the airline meet safety demands for international and domestic passengers.

“This partnership will help Seair meet the demands for safer travel requirements for local and international passengers. To keep pace with industry growth, we are currently expanding our aircraft fleet and working to equalize the supply and demand of pilots in our company,” Tan stressed.

A report from Boeing showed that the need for pilots would skyrocket, with the demand for 465,000 new pilots in the next 20 years to sustain the airline industry. The biggest demand would come from the Asia-Pacific region, where almost 185,600 new pilots will be required.

With continuous growth in air traffic of low-cost carriers, prospects for pilots and technical professionals look bright.

AAG Philippines general manager Nigel Harris said the agreement with Seair would provide training to the airline’s pilots.

“Filipino pilots have competitive advantage in the global aviation industry. This is why we are focused on the development of highly trained and certified pilots,” Harris said.

Last August, Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd., through Road Aviation II Pte Ltd, completed the purchase of a 40 percent stake in Seair for a total consideration of $7 million.

Seair operates two Airbus A319s and three A320s and more aircraft are expected to arrive to beef up its fleet. It has been in operating in the Philippines for 17 years and now flies to four regional and nine domestic destinations.

AAG Philippines is one of three academies under AAG, which delivers specialist training solutions to the international commercial aviation community. AAG Philippines is also an approved training organization (ATO) and a certified type rating training organization (TRTO) for the Airbus A320. It operates and maintains an A320 Level D full flight simulator at its training center in Clark, Pampanga.

“Pilots will find the flexible use of AAG’s training devices, instruction material, and examination tools optimally aligned to their needs. AAG will continue to champion talent development in the face of demand in the aviation industry,” he added.

Earlier, AAG also entered into an agreement with Zest Airways Inc. to train the airline’s pilots.

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