SIA, Airbus to set up $80m flight training centre

SINGAPORE - Airbus and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a $80 million flight training joint venture in Singapore.

Announced at the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday, the facility will be called Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) and will be 55 per cent-owned by Airbus and 45 per cent-owned by Singapore Airlines.

The two parties will initially contribute approximately $80 million towards AATC, in proportion to their respective shareholdings. Operations are expected to begin before the end of 2014.

The Singapore centre will operate from the SIA Training Centre near Changi Airport before moving to Seletar Aerospace Park when a dedicated facility is completed. It will provide type rating and recurrent training on full-flight simulators for Airbus A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 aircraft types.

"We are pleased to partner with SIA on this important new joint venture," said Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of Airbus.

"This state-of the-art facility will offer full pilot training services to Airbus operators from across the region and is a major step in the further expansion of our global flight training services. The investment underscores Airbus' strategy to offer innovative solutions to our customers for the entire Airbus fleet."

"Demand for air travel is forecast to continue growing steadily in the Asia-Pacific region and the joint venture will help the industry keep pace with training requirements," said Singapore Airlines' Chief Executive Officer, Mr Goh Choon Phong.

"The partnership makes good business sense for Singapore Airlines, while also enhancing Singapore's position as a leading aviation hub. The experience of Singapore Airlines' instructor pilots combined with Airbus' own expertise will ensure that AATC is a centre of excellence, providing a significant boost to the region's pilot training capabilities."

AATC will be the latest in a network of Airbus training centres around the world, with others located at Beijing, Miami and Toulouse.