Flight International online news 08:00 GMT: Shandong Airlines has teamed up with Oklahoma-based Spartan School of Aeronautics to open an ab initio flight training school in northeast China.

The Qingdao Jiutian Spartan Flight Academy commenced ground training last month and will begin flight training in January.

The academy is 36% owned by the Spartan School of Aeronautics, 15% by Shandong Airlines and 49% by private Chinese company Sunny Forest.

Shandong is sponsoring all 28 of the students, which are currently enrolled in ground training but Spartan says it is in talks with other Chinese carriers to sponsor future students. The Spartan School of Aeronautics currently trains pilots for 11 Chinese carriers at its Tulsa, Oklahoma campus.

China is facing a growing shortage of pilots and Spartan says Chinese carriers have lined up hundreds of new students but are struggling to find schools where they can be trained.

Spartan in Tulsa is now training 180 Chinese students along with 320 domestic students but does not have the capacity to keep up with demand from its Chinese airline customers. Air China alone, says Spartan, has 500 new students requiring training immediately but Spartan can only accept 50.




Source: Flight International