Private equity company American Capital has sold Pan Am Holdings, operator of Pan Am International Flight Academy, to All Nippon Airways' parent company ANA Holdings for $94 million, according to a media release from American Capital.

The deal "positions the new entity to meet the increasing demand for trained pilots worldwide," according to a separate media release from Miami-based Pan Am.

One of the largest independent providers of aviation training services, Pan Am says ANA expects to expand Pan Am's presence in Asia by providing it with business from Asian carriers, partner firms and subsidiaries.

"With air travel expected to double within the next 30 years, and much of the growth occurring in Asia, the company is poised to capture opportunities and create an additional source of steady revenue for [ANA]," says Pan Am, which operates flight training centres at eight locations worldwide, including one in Tokyo, where ANA is based.

ANA has said the acquisition will help expand its aviation-related businesses and grow its existing training organisation, Tokyo-based Panda Flight Academy.

Bethesda, Maryland-based American Capital says it purchased Pan Am holdings in July 2006 and earned a 16% rate of return on its investment.

Pan Am International Flight Academy, an offshoot of Pan Am Airways flight training division, launched in 1992, according to American Capital.

Pan Am has more than 60 flight simulators and offers training for pilots, cabin crew, mechanics and dispatchers.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news