Diamond Aircraft Industries has sold 60 trainers to a new flight- training school in China affiliated to Pan Am International Flight Academy (PAIFA).

Beijing Pan Am Aviation Academy unveiled plans at Zhuhai to open a school in Hijiazhuan this month to train pilots for Chinese airlines. The school announced a $20 million order of 41 DA40s and 19 DA42s, plus 11 simulators from new joint-venture company Diamond Elite Simulation Industries (Flight International, 4-10 May). The first 10 DA40s will be delivered this month and the school will have all the aircraft and simulators by the end of 2007.

Beijing Pan Am Aviation Academy director Zhiyun Li says the first batch of students have already received English language training and are ready to begin flying as soon as the first aircraft are delivered. Zhiyun says the academy has forged preliminary deals with several undisclosed Chinese airlines to train ab initio students. Zhiyun expects to instruct 300 students a year.

Diamond managing director Michael Feinig expects a market for over 100 Diamonds in China, driven by fast-growing demand for airline pilots as well as expansion in business and recreational flying. "The plans are very much dependent on the opening of the airspace," he says.

Beijing Pan Am Aviation Academy, owned mainly by private investors, has signed a technical co-operation agreement with PAIFA that allows the Chinese school to use PAIFA materials, branding, syllabi and quality control systems.

Source: Flight International