State-owned Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) is significantly expanding its pilot training capabilities after signing a letter of intent for the purchase of Level D full-flight simulators (FFS) for the Boeing 737MAX and Embraer E190 aircraft from L3 Technologies, a US provider of flight training solutions. The partners intend to ink the final contract in mid-October, AZAL has revealed in a statement.
At a meeting between AZAL president Jahangir Asgarov, and Robin Glover-Faure, the president of Commercial Training Solutions at L3 Technologies, the construction of a new simulator training centre for pilots at the National Aviation Academy in Baku in cooperation with L3 Technologies was also discussed.
Robin Glover-Faure comments: “We are delighted and honoured to sign a letter of intent to supply Azerbaijan Airlines with the B737Max and Embraer E190 RealitySeven full-flight simulators. We look forward to working in partnership with Azerbaijan Airlines to deliver this training solution on time and to the highest quality.”
AZAL’s first deliveries of the Boeing 737MAX-8 are planned to start in 2019, whereas seven Embraer E190s are already in operation at the carrier’s low-cost subsidiary Buta Airways. The simulators are expected to become operational by mid-2020, thereby making AZAL one of the first training centres in the CIS to provide in-house training for these aircraft types, as well as providing the service to third-party customers.
AZAL’s own flight simulator training centre, which is part of the National Aviation Academy, commenced operations in 2010. It currently has Level D full-flight simulators for the Airbus A319/A320, the Boeing 757/767 and the ATR 42/72. There are also simulators for Soviet/Russian aircraft, including the Ilyushin IL-76, the type operated by AZAL’s strategic cargo airline partner Silk Way Airlines, as well as for Antonov An-2 bi-planes.
The airline’s management is aiming to acquire simulators for every type of aircraft it operates, explaining that this is a commercially justified strategy because sending its crews for training outside the country “is quite a costly exercise.”
The Azerbaijan National Aviation Academy provides services to a number of third-party airlines, and has recently won customers from different CIS countries, including Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airline, Tajikistan’s Tajik Air and Russia’s first customers for the Boeing 737MAX – S7 Airlines and Utair.
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