For the airline industry, the COVID-19 pandemic – a global health crisis, is an unprecedented challenge. When the Spanish Flu devastated the world around World War One, the industry was in its infancy, with the world’s first powered flight only 15 years old at the time. By comparison, 2019 alone saw 4.54 billion passengers in the skies. How we respond to this situation will make all the difference in how the airline industry will continue into the future. With the related global economic crisis, how can airlines afford to keep crews current with their training requirements?
Alpha Aviation Group founder Bhanu Choudhrie knows – his company recently invested in a new simulator and training centre to help pilots and crew stay current without the expense of leaving the ground. With United Airlines postponing their new pilot training classes and the 737 Crisis of last year delaying training for American and Southwest pilots, independent training companies such as Alpha Aviation Group are providing the opportunity for pilots to maintain their training.
Although the world’s attention is currently focused on the COVID-19 crisis, entrepreneurs like Choudhrie are already focusing on what will come afterwards. Although pilot demand is currently low as flights are cancelled, that demand will inevitably increase as restrictions are lifted, with crews scrambling to catch up on training so that they can meet their requirements to fly. In China, where the outbreak began and appears to have peaked, domestic routes have already reopened, with international flights expected to resume in time.
“We are committed to an ongoing ambitious plan – to ensure world-class facilities where as many cadets can learn to fly as possible and industry demand can be met” – Bhanu Choudhrie: Founder, Alpha Aviation Group.
Alpha Aviation Group expects that their flight simulators can help take up the slack, reducing the cost to airlines for expensive training flights by offering simulators in its place. When the crisis has passed, people who have been stuck at home, waiting to travel for business or pleasure, will start booking flights and it will be an all-hands-on-deck situation for airlines. Commonly used to keep experienced crews at their best, flight simulators can help pilots keep in compliance with recency rules, providing them with valuable training for both standard and emergency situations.
Alpha Aviation Group’s recent investment in the expansion of its flight simulator offerings and other available resources provide high training efficiency to the airline industry while cutting fuel and mechanical costs. With so many planes grounded, simulator training helps pilots prepare to meet increased demand following the crisis by keeping certifications current and training new pilots.
“In the current circumstances though, I would not be surprised to see simulator training become mandated before many pilots return to work to make sure they are ready after a substantial break from flying.” – Bhanu Choudhrie: Founder, Alpha Aviation Group.
Simulators offer the opportunity to provide complete training to new pilots, across a range of training scenarios that ensure effective, safe aircraft operation in all conditions. With modern advancements that provide a flying experience similar to the real world, flight simulators can help new pilots make the leap from theory to the reality of flight. Given the number of pilots who are approaching retirement age, airlines may consider alternatives to their traditional in-house pilot training facilities during this time to ensure they can continue to deliver superior safety and performance to their customers following the COVID-19 crisis.
With two aircraft cockpit seats, the Cessna 172-specific interior cockpit and flight deck, the new flight simulator at Alpha Aviation Group helps pilots enhance their skills while awaiting the opportunities that will appear when our world returns to normal. In addition, Alpha Aviation Group has a state-of-the-art EASA-Certified Level D Airbus A320 full-flight simulator with full Upset Prevention and Recovery Training capacity and both New Engine Option and Current Engine Option capability, an Airbus A330/A340 full-flight simulator and a fixed-base Airbus A320 flight simulator, with all simulators featuring the latest avionics to provide a genuine real-world experience.
With headquarters in London and flight schools in the UAE and the Philippines, Alpha Aviation Group is well situated to keep pilots current in their certifications while helping new pilots meet or exceed their training requirements while the world deals with the COVID-19 crisis. Alpha’s training staff includes many pilots with commercial carrier experience, who are able to pass on real-world knowledge to new pilots, placing them in a better position for new careers once things settle down. Entrepreneurs such as Alpha founder Bhanu Choudhrie are working hard to keep our world moving, one flight at a time, through industry-leading flight training.