Piper Aircraft is back in the training fleet sales business, and anticipates enormous growth in pilot demand in the coming decade.

The company's Brunei-based director of fleet sales Chuck Glass estimates that there will be annual demand of 2,000-2,500 trained pilots in the Asia Pacific and Middle East over the next decade, and 600-700 training aircraft.

"Piper is back in the training market and we're excited by the interest we've received from pilot training schools around the region," says Glass. "I'm based in Asia because this is where the market is."

Piper's return to fleet sales stems from a 2009 change in ownership, which saw the US airframer purchased by Imprimis, a Singapore investment firm funded by the government of Brunei.

Glass has already enjoyed some success. In late February a pilot school owned by the Indonesian government ordered 18 single-engined Warrior aircraft, and a training school in Qatar recently received 10 single-engined Archers and four twin-engined Seneca Vs.

Piper is also in talks with China's Civil Aviation Flight University. The school operates seven Seminole aircraft, but is interested in acquiring 23 more.

"We're working on a number of other deals in Asia," says Glass. "There is a big demand for trainers and it keeps growing."

Source: Flight Daily News