UK-based flight training organisation CTC Aviation reports a surge in demand for pilots graduating from its ab initio training courses, and predicts this demand will be sustained for the next few years.

CTC chairman Chris Clarke says he has seen this recruitment recovery phenomenon before, following periods in which airlines froze recruiting for as long as they could, and he says this resurgence of demand has already led to a record number of placements for CTC graduates this year.

Head of the CTC Wings training programme Capt Lee Woodward adds: "As the industry recovers from the doldrums, we expect that all CTC Wings Cadet pilots completing their instrument rating training this winter will be offered airline placement immediately and we are confident that there will be a sustained demand for new pilots throughout 2011, 2012 and beyond. That's great news for our industry and particularly for those considering a future career as an airline pilot."

Clarke says the demand now is from all sectors of the industry, not just from low-cost carriers, and from all the geographical regions, particularly Europe, the Middle East, Far East and Australia.

He says that in the UK he expects to see British Airways recruiting soon, in the Middle East Etihad and Flydubai are hiring, and in Australia CTC is working with the fast-expanding low-cost carrier Jetstar to provide pilots to feed its expansion in the region.

Clarke explains that, during the recession, the retirement of older pilots continues, and when the recovery begins the low-cost carriers and smaller airlines see their pilots attracted to the big legacy carriers by better employment conditions, creating a need for fully trained pilots at the entry level.

"We have seen this trend many times before," says Clarke. Woodward adds: "This has, without doubt, been one of the busiest seasons we have experienced with regard to pilot placement. We are seeing partner airlines requesting pilots for the 2011 season far earlier than in previous years."

Source: Flight International