AAP Aviation’s flight school enters strategic cadet program with Icelandair

AAP Aviation


In a new milestone for the European aviation sector, our flight school Pilot Flight Academy (PFA), based in Torp-Sandefjord, Norway has announced a formal agreement with Icelandair. The agreement commits the academy to training pilots annually for the esteemed airline.      

This program, meticulously crafted over an 18-month period, will offer cadets a world-class educational journey. The initial phase of the training will take place in Norway, after which the cadets will proceed to PFA’s training base in Denton, Texas, for five months of flight training. The last, more advanced, training is performed at Torp, Norway. Upon completing their training with PFA, the cadets will undergo three months of specific aircraft training on Boeing 737 or Airbus 321 with Icelandair. Thus, 21 months from the commencement of their training, the cadets will be operational pilots for the airline.

Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of Icelandair, commented on the agreement, saying, "We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Pilot Flight Academy. Given the anticipated global pilot shortage, strategic partnerships like this are crucial for maintaining the strength and quality of our operations. PFA exemplifies the high standards and quality that we at Icelandair expect from a collaborative partner."

Bogason's reference to the global pilot shortage is based on forecasts by Boeing, which suggest that the aviation industry will need 739,000 new pilots by 2039, significantly more than the current rate of training. The pilot deficit in Europe alone is projected to be about 4,500 pilots annually.

One of the primary challenges is attracting enough young talent to the industry, believes Mikael Eriksson, CEO at PFA. He mentions that the flight school recently launched a scholarship program, awarding two scholarships worth over one million kroner, to candidates who can be strong ambassadors for the pilot profession. However, if the pilot crisis is to be resolved, airlines must also play their part, he believes.

"The responsibility to train enough pilots rests with the entire industry. The competition for talent is intense, and students expect high quality, job security, and favorable conditions. This initiative from Icelandair is an excellent example of how airlines can secure critical resources and contribute to addressing the global pilot crisis," states Eriksson.

Candidates will be selected by AAP Aviation, and the first batch of 30 cadets is slated to be enrolled in PFA's pilot program this coming November. 

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