Training systems and services provider CAE sees the emerging markets of China, India and the Middle East as having different characteristics, requiring a different mix of solutions.

"India is growing from a relatively small base, the regulatory environment is changing, infrastructure is being built, and there will be long-term continual growth," says Jeff Roberts, group president civil training and services. "China has done the heavy lifting on the macro-infrastructure, but the region is still growing significantly." In the Middle East, meanwhile, "Emirates is as mature as any airline, and the support is different", he says.

From selling flight simulators to opening training centres, CAE is trying to match its offering to each market. Its initial response to India's rapid growth was to offer capacity at its CAE-Emirates Flight Training joint venture in Dubai, at the same time selling simulators to new airlines like Air Deccan and Jet Airways.

"The next step is to have our own local training presence," says Roberts. CAE is to open a training centre in Bangalore by year-end. "Customers really want a local solution," he says. "We will start small and build up to 1,000 pilots a year." The centre will offer pilot, cabin crew and maintenance training for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. Rival Thales, meanwhile, has sold four Airbus and Boeing simulators to Chennai-based independent training centre Rudarev Aviation, which plans to train 800-1,000 pilots a year.

"We have not announced an ab initio operation in India - yet," Roberts says. Under the CAE Global Academy initiative launched last year, the company has alliances with three flight schools, International Airline Training Academy in Arizona, HM Aerospace in Malaysia and Academia Aeronáutica de Évora in Portugal. Cadets enrolled and airlines signed up are on or ahead of expectations. "There is more demand than capacity," says Roberts, adding CAE "has a list of schools we are vetting".

In China, CAE and joint-venture partner China Southern Airlines continue to expand their Zuhai training centre. The Canadian company is also looking towards other growth regions. "Vietnam is very intriguing, as is the rest of South-East Asia," says Roberts.


Source: Flight International