Africa Travel - Tourism
National flag carrier and Pride of Africa Kenya Airways has moved to boost its aircraft piloting crew capacity in a race to increase the number of first officers and captains for the growing fleet.
The airline shortlisted and sent an additional eight Ab initio pilots for training in South Africa. Ab initio is pilot training for those who have had no previous experience. This brings to 45 the total number of Ab Initio recruits currently under training in South Africa. The company has already a total of 377 pilots in its employment.
The trainees left for the 43 Air Training School located in Port Elizabeth recently and will go through a rigorous schedule to equip them with the necessary technical skills to enable them join the ranks in KQ flight operations. Group Human Resource Director Paul Kasimu said that the airline was focusing on increasing the number pilots in tandem with the increase and renewal of its current fleet as well as to meet the demands of the larger route network that Kenya airways was developing.
He explained that to fund the training, the Ab initio trainee pilots had each been given a student loan of Kshs 5.4 million from co-operative bank for training in the programme which is repaid after completion. Kenya Airways guarantees permanent employment to every pilot who completes the training programme.
In the first 3 months the trainees will undergo an initial flying training programme leading to a Private Piloting Licence (PPL).They will later be expected to have 20 hours of flying solo.
The programme begun in 1991 and trained 5 pilots however it took a break and resumed in May 2003.Currently 229 pilots have trained in South Africa, 158 have qualified and joined Kenya Airways.
This article was originally posted on Africa Travel - Tourism