Pilot training provider Asia Pacific Flight Training Bhd (APFT) will collaborate with CAE Inc to conduct training for 215 AirAsia cadet pilots under the CAE Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL) programme over the next five years. APFT will be the first company to support CAE's MPL programme entirely outside of its original training facility in Canada. It will conduct Phase 1 and 2 of the four-phased MPL while the remaining Intermediate and Advanced phases will be conducted at the Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence, a CAE-AirAsia joint venture training facility in Kuala Lumpur.
The MPL is expected to be granted by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCAM) after the takeoff and landing phase of training. APFT executive chairman Datuk Faruk Othman said that the estimated revenue from the training support should be realised after 2015 at between RM5mil and RM10mil or 30% of its total revenue. “This contract stabilises us in the sense that it ensures we have this number of students for the next five years,” he said after the signing of service agreement with CAE.
While plans to get other airlines into the training are on the table, Faruk said that the potential is not very significant at the moment. “We want to market the MPL to others in the region but we have to prove how successful we can be before others decide to send their cadets to us,” he said. He said that they have spoken with a few schools around the region and will explore opportunities with regional airlines that already have cadets training with APFT from Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar and Phillippines.
On the local front, AirAsia is the only airline on the programme currently. “Malaysia Airlines System is aware and also looking at the prospects but they have not approached us,” he said.