OpenSkies outsources crew training to CTC

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British Airways' transatlantic premium operator OpenSkies has signed a long-term training contract with CTC Aviation Group, covering selection, training and supply of flight and cabin crew.

It reached the agreement with CTC, which has training facilities in the UK and New Zealand, last month. OpenSkies says the organisation has "proven experience in helping new-start airlines".

CTC adds that the agreement is "evidence of the benefits of outsourcing" to keep cost bases low.

External recruitment of pilots for OpenSkies, to keep costs down, was a source of contention within the British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA) earlier this year.

But speaking to ATI at an event in London yesterday, OpenSkies managing director Dale Moss said the carrier was never in dispute with parent company British Airways' flight crew as the subsidiary was being established.

"We never had a quarrel with BA pilots," says Moss. "That was an issue between BA and its pilots - we have absolutely no animosity at all."

BA sought legal clarification on European rules governing creation of subsidiary companies but, after the case went to court, BALPA opted against pursuing the matter to avoid a potentially expensive series of appeals.

"There was a court case that was, in the end, withdrawn and precedent established," says Moss. "It was an unfortunate and untimely end but it is resolved now."

Moss adds that the premium carrier, which operates between Paris, Amsterdam and New York, now numbers some retired BA pilots among its crews.