RIYADH: Saudi flight academy OxfordSaudia is expanding its domestic training sites to accommodate 1,000 Chinese students amid an agreement with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, its CEO said.
The Kingdom's Vision 2030 gave the potential to bring students and to initiate this training opportunity, Captain Wade told Arab News during the Future Aviation Forum held in Riyadh.
“We kept talking to the Chinese and we realized this vision of being able to bring them. We didn't expect it to be 1,000 students, we expected small numbers,” he said.
The agreement, struck with Maitland 175 and GTI Outreach Educational Resources INC, who represents the major 5 airlines in China, is worth SR350 million ($93.3 million) and marks the first time foreign students will train to be pilots in the Kingdom.
Maria Hsueh, the President of Maitland 175 and GTI Outreach Educational Resources Inc, said in a statement: “We are also excited to know we are planning on partnering with them to open a flight school in China in an effort, staffed by OxfordSaudia Flight Academy graduates, focusing on creating additional capacity to train Chinese Students at home.”
Captain Wade said that there are 1,200 students in the school at the moment.
“The opportunity here is for us to take the students that we have now and employ them, because at the moment, the airlines aren't hiring, so we can employ our own students to teach these Chinese students,” he said.
“It's exciting now that we have the first group coming in, you know, we're actually starting the process of working with that first group of students right now,” he added.
Saudi Arabia will see its men and women working as aviation expert trainers across the globe, and the academy graduates finishing this year will become flight instructors.
The Academy has announced an agreement with Oxford Aviation Academy to also hire instructors into those schools, he added.
“This gives us an opportunity to take Saudi men and women and use them around the world as expert trainers, develop their expertise, and then bring them back into the airline industry to further their career,” said Wade.