ATR opens its first training center for pilots in Africa
The Johannesburg-based training center is run in partnership with Comair, the southern African holding company operating British Airways and kulula.com
To support the growing number of ATR aircraft in Africa and to anticipate the associated development potential, ATR, the European manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, has just opened a new training center for pilots and maintenance technicians in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is the very first training center to be opened by ATR on the African continent. The center is equipped with a Full-Flight Simulator, offering training possibilities for the ATR 42-300, ATR 42-500, ATR 72-200 and ATR 72-500 models.
ATR has opened this new training center to support the growth of its fleet of aircraft in mainland Africa and the India Ocean islands. 85 ATR aircraft are currently operated by 32 airlines in 20 African countries.
This new center, which is already up and running, allows ATR to offer its African and Indian Ocean island operators type and recurrent training courses for pilots for the models listed above, in addition to maintenance technician training. Within the framework of its activities, ATR supplies its instructors and the latest generation teaching resources required. Operators can also hire the simulator and use their own instructors to train their pilots and maintenance teams.
To operate these new facilities, ATR has formed a partnership with Comair (operator of British Airways southern Africa and kulula.com). ATR therefore benefits from the airline’s logistics and existing equipment at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
Johannesburg was selected as the location for the first ever ATR training center on African soil because it is a major hub in the massive sub-Saharan African and Indian Ocean region and can be easily and quickly accessed by all operators. Comair’s quality facilities and services also influenced the decision.
Lilian Braylé, Senior Vice-president of Product Support and Services of ATR, stated: “We are happy to be working alongside Comair to meet the growing need for ATR training in Africa. By opening this new center, we will be able to offer airlines the most modern training tools, highly qualified instructors, optimum course follow-up and a local service which is already proving beneficial.”
Erik Venter, Chief Executive Officer of Comair Limited, states: “After more than ten years of training on the B-737 for our pilots and for external pilots, we are happy to form this partnership to develop training on ATR aircraft using the new facilities at our operations center in Johannesburg. Our new partnership with ATR will also enable us to compliment our training programme offer."
ATR is present in many countries in which it has customer support centers, spare part storage warehouses and training centers. ATR currently has training centers in Toulouse, Paris, Bangkok, Toronto and now Johannesburg.
About Comair Limited:
Comair is a leading South African aviation company that is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange (JSE: COM). Since 1996 the company has operated the local and Southern African regional services of British Airways for 15 years. Comair also operates Africa’s first low fare airline, kulula.com, which celebrated its 10th year anniversary last year. This quirky brand has since inception revolutionalised air travel in South Africa by making flying much easier and affordable to customers. For more information, visit www.comair.co.za
Comair provides services to around thirty airlines through its training department. In addition to the ATR FFS simulator, the Comair training center also houses B 737-200/300/400/500/800 type simulators. Besides working with African airlines, Comair also works with operators from South America, Asia and the Middle East.
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world leader on the market for regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. Since its creation, ATR has sold approximately 1,200 aircraft to over 186 operators based in 90 countries. ATR planes have totaled over 21 million flight hours. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Group company) and EADS. Its head office is in Toulouse. ATR is ISO 14001 certified. This is the international reference standard in the field for environmental friendliness.
For additional information, log on to www.atraircraft.com.
ATR is the world number one regional aircraft manufacturer with its ATR 42 and 72 aircraft the best-selling aircraft in the less than 90-seat market segment. In 2019 the company had a turnover of US$1.6 billion. The unifying vision of the company’s 1,400 employees is to help everyone, no matter where they are in the world, to connect and develop in a responsible manner. Thanks to the efficiency of turboprop technology and the benefits of the company’s focus on continuous innovation, ATR aircraft open more than 100 new routes every year, burn up to 40% less fuel and emit up to 40% less CO2 than regional jets. For all of these reasons, ATR aircraft have been chosen by some 200 companies in 100 countries around the world. ATR is a joint-venture between Airbus and Leonardo.