Angoulême, in southwest France, is the location of a recently inaugurated campus for Airbus Flight Academy Europe (AFAE) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus.
The site, which measures 11.6 acres, includes a 34,444sq ft building encompassing a simulator hall, briefing rooms, 14 classrooms, a restaurant and an auditorium. Airbus said up to 200 cadet pilots can be trained at a time.
During a ceremony at the complex, the airframer revealed that Spanish carrier Volotea will become the first to recruit its Airbus pilot cadets. The Barcelona-based airline is to recruit 11 graduates from Airbus’s Ab Initio training programme. At the time of writing, cadets continued with their final stages of pilot training and were due to have joined Volotea from this April and May.
Volotea fields 36 Airbus examples, comprising 20 A319ceos (pictured) and 16 A320ceos, as of mid March 2022. Volotea CEO Carlos Muñoz said the “company keeps on growing year after year [with] our Airbus fleet, and we’re going to be needing many more pilots. We hope this is the beginning of a very successful long-term partnership with the Airbus Flight Academy benefiting many young pilots.”
A key emphasis of Airbus’s Ab Initio training programme is creating what the company refers to as an “operationally ready pilot” as cadets develop their critical pilot technical and behavioural competencies.
High-school graduates worldwide, over the age of 18, are eligible to apply for the Airbus pilot cadet training programme. Those who succeed would embark on a curriculum including 750+ hours of ground school, as well as more than 200 hours of practical training.