When airline pilot training company CTC Aviation opened its Hamilton Crew Training Centre in 2005, it trained primarily UK and European airline pilots. However, with the recent recruitment of its first-ever Kosovo citizen, the airline training organisation now has 25 nationalities in training in New Zealand.
"Our New Zealand Crew Training Centre has grown from strength to strength with new major airline partnerships being signed regularly over the past ten years," said CTC Aviation's chief operating officer - Ab Initio Training (NZ), Peter Stockwell.
"With those international partnerships come international recruits and, as of this month, we are fortunate to now have 25 different nationalities currently training with us from all four corners of the globe, including Bermuda, Ireland, India, Slovenia, Malaysia, Canada and Brunei to name just a few."
Stockwell said the global spread was testament to the graduates, training staff and management who have grown CTC Aviation to be the highly regarded airline pilot training company that it is today.
With centres in the UK and US as well as New Zealand, the internationally approved organisation annually trains and recruits approximately 3,000 aircrew for more than 50 global airlines.
CTC Aviation's airline partnership with one of the Middle East's largest international airlines Qatar Airways, announced in February 2014, has contributed greatly to the number of international recruits training in New Zealand - with the latest, Veton Breznica of Kosovo, being a prime example.
Twenty-seven year old Breznica believes he is the first Kosovar citizen in history to train as a commercial pilot and has been recognised in his country for this feat. His dream will become reality thanks to Qatar Airways and CTC Aviation.
Although Europe's youngest nation, Kosovo is not currently part of the EEA. After actively trying to find an airline training programme that would accept his citizenship status, Breznica is now able to fulfil a lifelong aspiration of training to become an airline pilot having been accepted by Qatar Airways and CTC Aviation as a trainee.
Following 12 months of ground school and flight training in New Zealand, Breznica will head to CTC Aviation's UK facilities for six months of aircraft 'type rating' training in preparation for flying as an A320 co-pilot for Qatar Airways operating from Doha.
Looking to the future, Stockwell says the coming years look very promising for aspiring pilots: "With manufacturers like Boeing stating an international need for 558,000 new pilots over the next 20 years, real opportunities exist for the next generation of airline pilots. It's a great time to start training."