Gulf Aviation Academy has launched a scheme to propel young Bahrainis into careers as pilots, along with Irish-based flying school PTC.

The academy, the now-independent former training arm of Gulf Air, will offer the ab initio courses as part of its portfolio of training packages.

GAA said the contract with PTC will see around 120 Bahraini students qualify for pilots' licences at its facilities in Ireland, the UK and USA.

Tim Shattock, chief executive of GAA, said ensuring a pipeline of professional airline pilots "is a strategic priority for the airline industry in the [Middle East and North Africa] region in particular, which is GAA's core market".

The project is being supported by Bahrain's employment and training agency Tamkeen and will be open to Bahrainis who are at least 18 and have a secondary school certificate.

Established in 2002, PTC has bases in Waterford, Ireland, Cambridge in the UK and Melbourne in Florida. Government-owned GAA offers simulator training on Airbus and Embraer types from its premises next to Bahrain International Airport.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news