Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Hamilton pilot school chosen for Qatar deal

Qatar Airways, which was set up in 1994, will give trainees a conditional offer of employment. Photo / AP
Qatar Airways, which was set up in 1994, will give trainees a conditional offer of employment. Photo / AP

A Hamilton aviation training school is offering aspiring pilots the chance to fast-track their way into jets at fast-growing Gulf carrier Qatar.

CTC has been selected to train six recruits every two months as part of the Qatar programme but they will have to pay their way.

Qatar Airways will provide a conditional offer of employment to trainees who will train in Hamilton for about eight months before going on to train in England for about the same time for a Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL).

Successful trainees would then do the final stages of training and Line Operating Experience in Qatar before becoming first officers on Airbus A320 aircraft based out of Doha.

Applicants do not need flying experience but must meet academic standards, pass aptitude tests and be in good health.

More details - including fees - will be revealed at an open day in Hamilton this Saturday.

It typically costs would-be pilots more than $100,000 to do basic training to qualify for airline intakes.

CTC's chief executive, Rob Clarke, said the "Qatar Wings" programme was a unique opportunity for New Zealanders.

"It is rare that a Gulf airline offers international applicants, including New Zealanders, the opportunity to partake in a cadet pilot programme, particularly an MPL programme," he said.

CTC's airline clients include British Airways, Dragonair, easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, fastjet, Flybe, flydubai, IndiGo, Jet2.com, the Jetstar Group, Monarch Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways.

Qatar Airways was set up in 1994 when the airline was a small regional carrier serving a handful of routes. The airline, half owned by the Government, was re-launched in 1997, becoming one of the fastest growing carriers in the world, flying to 126 destinations.

Boeing has forecast 460,000 new commercial pilots will be needed by 2030.

The aeroplane builder projects that airlines will need an average of 23,000 new commercial jet pilots and 32,500 new technicians a year to maintain and fly an expanded world fleet expected to grow to nearly 40,000 aeroplanes over the next 20 years, as well as replace the coming wave of retirements.

In figures released two years ago, Boeing said the largest demand for pilots and technicians will be in the Asia Pacific region, with an expected need for 182,300 pilots and 247,400 technicians by 2030.

- NZ Herald

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