Airbus announced the launch of its ab initio Pilot Cadet Training Program last week. The company says the program is designed to “help meet global demand for pilots over the next 20 years.” Airbus’ partner for the program is Escuela de Aviacion Mexico (EAM), which is located close to the Airbus Mexico Training Center in Mexico City.
Pilots participating in the EASA-based program will complete their initial training at EAM and then transfer to the Airbus Mexico Training Center to qualify on the A320. According to Airbus, the program “aims to equip cadets with the skills and mindset required to become an ‘operationally-ready pilot.’” The first class of 20 Airbus cadets is expected to begin training in January 2019 and graduate in July 2020. The program is open to high school graduates over 18 years old and will begin accepting applications in October. Applicants will take admissions tests to gauge their knowledge of English, mathematics and physics.
Airbus says it plans to open similar programs around the world over the next few years. According to the company, this program and the ones to come reflect Airbus’ “commitment to support airline customers in contributing to long term availability of qualified flight crew.” The company’s latest Global Services Forecast predicts that 540,000 new pilots will be needed over the next two decades.