CAE and Directional Aviation complete strategic partnership

A strategic partnership between flight training provider CAE and corporate aviation investment firm Directional Aviation – announced in August – is now complete after the two companies concluded the deal in early November.

Under the agreement, CAE has created a joint venture with Directional affiliate Volo Sicuro and acquired, for $85 million, a 50% stake in simulator-based training company Simcom.

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In turn, six other Directional affiliates – manufacturer Nextant Aerospace, and operators Corporate Wings, Flexjet, Flight Options, Flairjet and Sirio – have signed a 15-year exclusive training services agreement with Simcom and CAE. Together, the operators have a fleet of 175 business jets and turboprops, and more than 80 aircraft on order.

CAE chief executive Marc Parent says the agreement will “further strengthen CAE's position in the business aviation training market".

This includes the company's $645 million acquisition of Bombardier's Business Aviation Training arm. The deal was completed in March, bringing 12 new Bombardier business jet full-flight simulators – located in Dallas, Texas and Montreal, Canada – into its training network.

As part of the agreement with Directional, Simcom will purchase equipment from CAE, including five full-flight simulators: two Bombardier Challenger 350s, one Embraer Phenom 300, a Legacy 500 and a Gulfstream G650.

Simcom already has nearly 50 simulators – spanning jets, turboprops and piston-engined aircraft – across its facilities in Orlando, Florida, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Humberside, the UK.

Directional founder and principal Kenn Ricci says: "CAE's investment in Simcom, along with our new long-term partnership, will allow us to realise our vision of creating industry-leading training solutions for private aviation."

He adds that Montreal-headquartered CAE's technology and training expertise will allow Directional's affiliates "to better serve both internal and external customers”.