Pilot trainer CTC flying high on foreign demand


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The Independent Online

A UK company that trains airline pilots for the likes of British Airways, easyJet and Qatar Airways grew its revenues by 46 per cent last year on the back of increased demand from foreign clients.  

Private equity-backed CTC Aviation said its international sales soared from £622,000 in 2010 to more than £4m in 2012 because the aviation industry needs to find over 235,000 new pilots to meet growing demand for air travel. Overall revenues reached £41m in the year ending June 30.

The managing director Martin Hunt said: “We have enjoyed phenomenal growth and the opportunities for further expansion are still very exciting. We have recruited some of the best pilots and trainers in the industry – for example, we have 21 ex-British Airways captains and first officers – and have recently invested millions of pounds in our business, including new and upgraded training simulators and aircraft.”

CTC Aviation, which last year received new investment from Inflection Private Equity, trains about 2,000 pilots each year for 50 clients across the globe. Some 40 per cent of its applications are from people who live in the UK, with the two-year CTC Wings Cadet programme costing just under £90,000.

Experts have warned that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of pilots because of retirements, longer rest periods and greater training requirements.

The debate of pilots’ working hours intensified  earlier this month when the British Airline Pilots’ Association revealed that 56 per cent of 500 commercial pilots admitted to being asleep while on the flight deck and, of those, nearly one in three said they had woken up to find their co-pilot was  also asleep.

New European Union rules have lowered pilots’ maximum flying hours in most of the region’s 28 member states.