Low-cost carrier Ryanair is entrusting French flight school Astonfly to select and train its pilots of the future.
With the signing, Astonfly becomes the airline’s exclusive partner in France under the Ryanair Mentored Programme. The carrier anticipates that 98% of students will become Boeing 737 co-pilots at the end of their two years of training at the campus based near Paris at the Toussus-le-Noble airport.
Airline pilot Charles Clair, the president of Clair Group and founder of Astonfly, and Patrick Milward, CEO of Astonfly and Ryanair's operational and recruitment management inked the agreement after more than a year of discussions and technical audits.
Charles Clair said: Astonfly was proud of the selection: “This is a unique opportunity for our alumni, current and future students to get their first job as an airline pilot, right after graduation."
Mark Duffy, Ryanair's deputy director HR – head of talent acquisition noted that the Ryanair group has a fleet of 500 aircraft and is targeting 225 million passengers for 2026.
He said: “We were impressed by the quality of the ab initio pilots already trained by Astonfly who are now Ryanair pilots. We look forward to working more closely with Astonfly.”
Last September, Ryanair unveiled its new €50m Aviation Training Centre in Santry, Dublin, in partnership with training provider, Airline Flight Academy (AFA). Demand for crew training comes as the airline has orders for 210 Boeing 737-8200 aircraft, which it hopes will enable the growth of annual passenger traffic to 200m by 2025.
Carriers around the world are stepping up crew training amid continuing shortages, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to industry statistics, more than 800,000 new airline pilots will be needed in the next 20 years.