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The largest pilot graduation ceremony ever held by CTC Aviation saw 320 – yes, 320! – pilots celebrating passing their courses. They included the first of Virgin Atlantic’s Future Flyers.

The 320 graduate pilots were joined by family, friends and senior industry figures from British Airways, BA CityFlyer, easyJet, Flybe, Flydubai, IndiGo, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic.

Among the other VIP guests were flying charity Aerobility, Middlesex University, Buckinghamshire New University and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Guests attended a daytime graduation ceremony hosted by CTC Aviation’s President Rob Clarke and Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, followed by a celebration ball the same evening.

CTC Aviation said that 91% of this year’s graduates are already flying or about to start operating, across more than 30 European airports, and many others in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.

CTC Aviation’s dedicated graduate placement team facilitates unrivalled placement opportunities for its graduates – maintaining a 98% placement record. The company’s current placement activity suggests that those not yet placed with an Airline Partner will commence their first flying roles within one month.

Virgin Atlantic Future Flyers

Virgin Atlantic pilots
Virgin Atlantic’s six Future Flyers with the airline’s management.

Graduates of CTC Aviation’s programmes CTC WINGS, CTC TAKEOFF and the CTC ATP Programme were congratulated on their achievements by the guest of honour Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic.

Speaking at the event, Mr Kreeger said, “I’m thrilled to be here to recognise CTC Aviation’s graduates, including our very own Virgin Atlantic Future Flyers. All of you today have shown amazing character, amazing fortitude, determination and perseverance.

“When we started our programme for aspiring pilots with CTC Aviation, we looked for people with a blend of true passion for flying and the technical and leadership abilities required to operate large machinery in the sky. We place enormous trust in our pilots to deliver on our brand promise of embracing the human spirit and letting it fly; having safety and wellbeing of our customers at the forefront of their minds at all times.

“We have an ambition to broaden and diversify our pilot workforce. We are delighted to continue working on the Virgin Atlantic Future Flyers Programme with CTC Aviation – a path for aspiring pilots that is not predicated on socio-economic background.”

CTC Rob Clarke
CTC Aviation president Rob Clarke addresses the graduation ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony, Captain Rob Clarke, President of CTC Aviation said, “We’ve always wanted to offer a career as an airline pilot to as many people as possible and I believe we’ve made some great strides over the years.

“This year that’s evident in two outstanding initiatives: the Virgin Atlantic Future Flyers Programme, through which the airline has enabled genuine diversity and opportunity within a broader community of aspiring pilots through loan underwriting for trainees.

“We’ve also launched the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative in partnership with easyJet and the British Women Pilots Association, which provides loan underwriting for female candidates as a longer term strategy by the airline to encourage women into the profession. We are delighted to see an increased level of interest already and to see more women graduating here today; but we’re determined to see that number continue to rise.”

Special awards

CTC WINGS Ground School Award
Presented annually for outstanding performance in ground school. Winner Daniel Bush, easyJet. Runner Up Oliver Hall, easyJet

Simon Petitt
CTC Wings Integrated Pilot of the Year Simon Petitt, centre.

CTC WINGS Integrated ATPL Graduate Pilot of the Year
Presented annually for outstanding performance throughout training on the CTC WINGS Integrated ATPL Route. Winner Simon Pettit, easyJet. Runner Up Timothy Mitchell, British Airways

CTC WINGS MPL Graduate Pilot of the Year
Presented annually for outstanding performance throughout training on the CTC WINGS MPL Route. Winner Daniel Morris, easyJet.  Runner Up Oliver Hall, easyJet

CTC TAKEOFF Graduate Pilot of the Year
Presented annually for outstanding performance throughout training on the CTC TAKEOFF Professional Pilot Training Course. Winner Benjamin Swift, easyJet. Runner Up Julien Durand, easyJet

Jacob Edwards easyjet
Orange Spirit award winner Jacob Edwards, left.

easyJet ‘Orange Spirit’ Award
A special airline award for an outstanding easyJet graduate who has demonstrated optimism, innovation, drive and passion; someone who is friendly, fun and welcoming to all. Winner Jacob Edwards, easyJet

BA award winner Edward Picton, left, and BA pilot recruitment manager Andrew Perkins.
BA award winner Edward Picton, left, and BA pilot recruitment manager Andrew Perkins.

British Airways – CTC Aviation Certificate of Excellence
A special airline award for an outstanding British Airways graduate; someone who has demonstrated exceptional ability and attitude, delivering excellence in safety and customer service. Winner Edward Picton, British Airways

Closing the ceremony, Captain Clarke added, “Today is about your achievement and I know everyone here will want to join me in saying how proud we are of you, in saying congratulations and in wishing you the very best of luck with your future career in what is, after all, the very best job in the world!”

CTC Aviation