Wet-lease specialist Avia Solutions Group is embarking on a pilot-training scheme which will provide cadets with financing support and a job guarantee with the group’s carriers.

The scheme, called Pilot Runway, is intended to train up to 200 pilots annually to help address the demand for cockpit crew.

Pilot Runway will offer cadets a European multi-crew pilot licence programme.

Avion Express, one of the group’s airlines, will be an initial partner of the programme. The operator has Lithuanian and Maltese divisions and uses a fleet of Airbus single-aisle jets.

The cadet scheme will be run in co-operation with Avia Solutions subsidiary BAA Training, which has facilities in various countries across Europe and Asia.

“[Trainees] will also be guaranteed a job at one of the biggest [wet-lease] airlines operated by Avia Solutions,” says the company.

It says a “substantial part” of the training and tuition cost will be financed while specific airlines will provide loans to cover the remainder.

Simulator-c-Avion Express

Source: Avion Express

Wet-lease carrier Avion Express is an initial partner of the Pilot Runway scheme

Avia Solutions says this model has already been tested by BAA Training.

“Every bout of expansion brings our demand for qualified pilots up,” says Avia Solutions chief Jonas Janukenas.

He says the scheme, while intended to provide crews for the company’s own airlines, will also be able to supply other carriers outside the group.

Pilot Runway will “make a big difference”, claims BAA Training chief Marijus Ravoitis.

“It will level the playing field for people dreaming of becoming pilots, making it easier to start their education without having to worry about financing,” he says, adding that it will generate a “steady stream” of qualified crew members for the industry.

Avia Solutions has a portfolio of carriers with a combined fleet of over 200 aircraft.