UK-based training group CTC says its new venture into the contract pilot sector is proving successful in the current economic environment, with operators snapping up pilots and instructors for short-term hire.
Launched last year and known as CTC FlexiCrew, the company says it has placed more than 70 pilots so far, and more placements are expected.
Capt Chris Clarke, chairman of the CTC Aviation Group, explains: "One hundred percent of the interest is coming from the low cost carriers at the moment, both here in Europe and from Australasia. Clearly they look for opportunities to structure their business more efficiently in these current times and thus short term contracts are popular. However there are certainly indications that a longer term view to accommodate flexible crewing solutions is desired by this sector and these may lead to longer and more repetitive contracts with this sector."
EasyJet's flight operations chief Capt Chris Hope says: "We have a long-established arrangement to supplement our line training team with CTC instructors and examiners at the busiest times. We continue to work with CTC to find innovative solutions that address our business needs and welcome developments such as FlexiCrew."
Clarke says FlexiCrew can access a pool of about 1,000 pilots with all levels of experience, from newly qualified line pilots to instructors and examiners. Adding a "green shoots" observation, he says: "We also see new activity in the executive charter sector, with some of our clients actively recruiting to prepare for a resurgence of business activity."