Fiji Airways signs MoU with TSLS to nurture local pilots and aircraft engineers
Fiji Airways needs up to 200 qualified airline pilots and 100 qualified aircraft engineers over the next decade - Viljoen

Fiji Airways signs MoU with TSLS to nurture local pilots and aircraft engineers

Fiji Airways needs up to 200 qualified airline pilots and 100 qualified aircraft engineers over the next decade - Viljoen

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 01/08/2023
Photo:Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways and the Tertiary Scholarships and Loan Service have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will nurture local pilots and aircraft engineers in the country.

The MoU enables Fiji Airways to administer a TSLS-sponsored Cadet Pilot scheme providing a pathway for young Fijians to apply for scholarships that develop candidates to the minimum entry requirement to join the airline.

Selection to this Fiji Airways Cadet Pilot Program will be conditional on the candidates’ being assessed on their capacity to become a fully qualified, Airline Transport Pilot License holder.

This is a level beyond the Commercial Pilots Licence that a new flying school graduate holds and is required for commercial jet operations.

Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen says this scholarship pathway benefits both the airline and young Fijians who aspire to fly for Fiji.

He says Fiji Airways needs up to 200 qualified airline pilots over the next decade.

Viljoen says to educate and train a young Fiji national to the correct standard for entry into their jet fleets can take up to six years.

He adds they will perform an initial assessment as the TSLS-appointed Selection Agency by conducting airline industry-specific testing and basic handling assessment using the facilities of the Fiji Airways Aviation Academy.

He further says up to 20 candidates per year would be inducted into the programme.

The CEO says once accepted, Cadets will follow a Fiji Airways specified, two-year tuition program at an affiliated flying school to produce graduates to Fiji Airways’ defined airline entry standard.

He says graduates will enter Fiji Link as trainee First Officers and follow a structured development pathway onto the narrow-body jet fleet in three to four years.

He further says the national airline needs up to 100 qualified aircraft engineers over the next decade, and developing graduates can take up to seven years.

Viljoen says under the MoU, Fiji Airways will administer a TSLS-sponsored Apprentice Engineer scheme for scholarships to become Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers.

He adds that entry will be conditional on the candidates’ assessed aptitude to become a fully Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

The Managing Director says they will conduct airline-specific testing using the facilities of the Fiji Airways Aviation Academy and by practical assessment in our workshops and Hangar.

He says up to 12 candidates per year will be inducted into the programme.

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