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Friday November 12th, 2010

FLYBE CELEBRATES LANDMARK GRADUATION FOR UK AVIATION TRAINING

Europe’s largest regional airline marks success of UK’s first ever Multi-Crew Pilot Licence course graduates

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s Number One Domestic carrier, is today honouring the first graduates of the UK’s inaugural Multi Crew Pilot Licence course in a ceremony at Flybe’s headquarters in Exeter.  The completion of the course, under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), marks the culmination of a successful relationship between Flybe, Flight Training Europe Jerez and the CAA and is an historic milestone not only for Flybe’s pilot training but also for the development of professional pilot training throughout the UK aviation industry.

Included amongst the aviation VIP’s attending the ceremony was Flybe’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Strong and Ian Baston, Chief Pilot; Peter Sadler, Managing Director from Flight Training Europe Jerez and the CAA’s Roy Burden, Head of Approved Training Organisations, Licencing & Training Standards. In addition, Pooley’s Flight Equipment Managing Director, Robert Pooley, presented the Pooley Sword of Merit to Best Student, Claire Jones from Liverpool.  Flybe’s six successful pilots began the ab initio course last year at Flight Training Europe in Spain before completing the qualification at Exeter and Farnborough airports. The newly qualified pilots will now move into the right seats of Flybe’s Dash 8 Q400 aircraft as the first Multi Crew Pilot Licence holders in the UK.
Mr Strong said; “Flybe prides itself on being an innovative airline so we are absolutely delighted to be the first UK airline to have embraced ab initio pilot training under this new MPL programme.  We have been extremely encouraged by the successes achieved with this new MPL course that not only gives those entering the profession a more fully rounded set of skills but that will also complement our own internal training programme as graduates move up the career ladder in preparation for later command courses.”

In further commenting on the success of the inaugural MPL course, Head of Approved Training Organisations at the CAA, Roy Burden added: "Today marks a significant change for pilot training in the UK and should be seen as an encouraging step for future pilot recruitment. This is an exciting moment for the CAA, Flight Training Europe and, of course, Flybe who have supported the pilots throughout their course."

The MPL graduation comes just a week after the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) singled out Flybe as one of the few airlines committed to the funded training of new pilots. BALPA warned that Britain could be faced with a shortage of airline pilots within the next few years due to the cash crisis faced by pilots throughout their training, unless more airlines followed Flybe’s lead.       

Concludes Mr Strong: “The successful graduates here today exhibit the very highest calibre of professionalism. We look forward to welcoming them full-time into the company and wish them all the very best success in their new careers with us.”