A new alliance of modular flight schools is set to be announced to the public at Pilot Careers Live London on Saturday 7 November, at the Sofitel Hotel, Terminal 5, London Heathrow.
Named Wings Alliance, the group of modular trainers – including Bristol Groundschool, Airways Flight Training and Aeros to name a few – aims to offer potential pilots a connected route through to airline employment, following completion of modular training, allowing prospective commercial pilots a route to the cockpit at around half the cost of the integrated courses created for major airlines.
There are two mainstream training routes for professional pilots. The first is to attend an integrated course where all the training is completed with one single flight school, the second is to attend a series of modular courses at specialist flight schools (for more, see our article on Integrated vs Modular).
According to a statement from the schools involved, the Wings Alliance training path will enable prospective pilots to choose which of the Member flight schools they study with, but for the first time, secure the additional benefits of an integrated path, including:
- A job focused path – direct links with airlines have been developed to offer successful graduates employment opportunities.
- A continuous training record – one unique Wings Alliance training record which is invaluable for airline recruiters and unique for students undertaking the modular route.
- Tracking and support – students’ progress will be tracked to ensure they are supported throughout their training to maximise their chances of getting that all important first job on graduation.
The Wings Alliance training route will also include a Mentored Pilot Programme (MPP), for students who are identified to have the personal and professional attributes that partner airlines are looking for in new recruits and to nurture and develop those attributes throughout their training. Successful graduates of the programme will be recommended to Partner Airlines.
Alex Whittingham of Bristol Groundschool, a Founder Member of Wings Alliance, explained, “This is a unique high quality training route, the first of its kind in the world. Through our members we can offer a real high value alternative for aspiring commercial pilots who are seeking a direct route to airline employment.”
He added, “Modular training through the Wings Alliance will cost substantially less than the equivalent integrated course. Our Members do not have big company overheads associated with big Flight Schools and the Alliance itself is run as a not-for-profit organisation. Training with the Wings Alliance will give pilots approximately 25% more training time at, typically, 70% of the cost.”
A spokesperson from the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) added, “BALPA supports initiatives that open up the training options for aspiring pilots. The Modular route gives students the same licence as integrated programmes, but gives them flexibility because it allows them to complete sections of the course at a time, and pace that suits them and their finances.”
While emphasising the importance of individual choice, BALPA went on to say, “We wish the Wings Alliance luck in their new venture and hope it reaches a diverse range of students.”
The flight training members of the Wings Alliance in the UK include Bristol Groundschool, Aeros Flight Training, Airways Flight Training, Cardiff Aviation, Multiflight, Stapleford Flight Centre, Tayside Aviation and Ultimate High. Elsewhere in Europe and the Near East, members are Ayla Aviation, Jordan; Bartolini, Poland; Egnatia Aviation, Greece; HubAir, France; and Orbit Groundschool, Holland.
For further information visit www.wingsalliance.eu, the site will be live from Saturday, or alternatively, visit Pilot Careers Live London on Saturday 7 November in London, where you can find out more about the Wings Alliance from member flight trainers.