Alpha Aviation Group (AAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Singapore Airshow with Gujrat-based Blue Ray Aviation. The joint venture aims to provide a one-stop training solution for airlines, streaming Blue Ray’s commercial pilot license (CPL) graduates to the AAG Centre for Aviation Training (ACAT) in Chennai, run in partnership with Anemos, where the CPL pilots are type rated on airline passenger aircraft.

ACAT has signed a purchase agreement with SIM International to acquire an A320 Neo Standard V2.1 simulator, ensuring that the training centre provides further training opportunities for the Indian market. The centre in Chennai is currently operating at capacity and ACAT is investing heavily in advanced Level D flight simulators to meet the continuing rise in demand. ACAT plans to add a third A320 to its fleet in 2025, alongside a B737 Max.

Nearly 1,500 new commercial pilots will be required each year for the next three years as the airline industry in India continues to grow. Currently, 810 commercial aircraft are operating in India, but that number will increase to 1,430 by 2027, a 76% increase over three years.

ACAT is further expanding its training footprint in India by venturing into cabin crew training. ACAT is inaugurating its cabin crew training centre in Siliguri, strategically located as the gateway to the North-East states of India. With India set to receive more than 1,000 aircraft deliveries in the next decade, the demand for skilled cabin crew is estimated to exceed 25,000 personnel, and Siliguri is poised to become a pivotal hub for cabin crew recruitment.

The centre features the first A320 mock-up in the region, according to AAG, and provides students with an immersive training experience and has capacity to train 500 students annually.

AAG has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and courses will be delivered by ACAT (AAG India) and AAG (Philippines).

AAG’s increased investment in India comes after a record post-Covid year for AAG (Philippines) with pilot cadet enrolments in the market increasing year-on-year by 55% in 2023. AAG has also announced new ventures in Singapore as it expands across Asia Pacific.

AAG Philippines COO Cristopher Magdangal said: “India is a very significant market for AAG because there is huge pent-up demand and we are ramping up our operations accordingly. Our partnership with Blue Ray Aviation, together with further investments in our existing facilities, will provide airlines with an end-to-end training offering. We are increasing our capacity so that we can cater to the growing needs of leading airlines; we are already delivering localised A320 training and in the future, we also plan to offer training on B737 Max Full Flight Simulators”.

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