Air Europa Signs Lease Agreement for 15 Boeing 737 MAXs and 787s

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Air Europa Líneas Aéreas S.A.U. plans to add 15 aircraft to its fleet according to the long-term lease contract with AerCap Holdings N.V. The airline will lease 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 5 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, receiving the deliveries in 2024-2026. Air Europa will become the first Spanish operator of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

“Air Europa has been a long-time friend and valued customer of AerCap.  With this landmark transaction for the airline, we are delighted to reconfirm our belief in the Air Europa business and management team and wish them every success with their fleet modernization program,” said Peter Anderson, Chief Commercial Officer, AerCap. “The future is bright for the Boeing 787 and MAX programs.  For Air Europa these new technology fuel-efficient aircraft will provide improved cost efficiencies and help them to meet their sustainability commitments. We thank the team at Air Europa for the confidence they have placed in AerCap, and we look forward to working together as these aircraft deliver.”

Richard Clark, Managing Director of Air Europa, said, “We are very pleased to reach this agreement with AerCap, with whom we have a long and successful relationship. It reinforces our strategy of unifying the fleet around the most modern, efficient, and sustainable models in the industry. Once again, we are pioneers. Just as we were the first Spanish company to incorporate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, we are now doing the same by adding the new Boeing 737 MAX to our fleet.”

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Sofia traded her office desk for the cockpit of an Airbus A320. This is her story…

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Reigniting a fading dream

For many, the prospect of becoming a pilot is a dream they’ve carried since childhood. As we grow-up though, our dreams are often eroded, we’re told we can’t achieve things, or we become scared of perceived financial challenges. You know what? I fell into this trap 100% and I’m not afraid to admit it. After being an air-cadet as a youngster flying gliders, I was put-off the idea of becoming a professional pilot by a careers advisor when I left school. They told me the industry was too competitive, but right now the industry is crying out for pilots. In the end I decided to study Media at University, ahead of finding my first job as an Account Executive at a marketing agency. But the longer I was there, the more I caught myself looking out of the window and daydreaming about flying.

Assessing my options

I held off for a little while, but after some time I couldn’t help myself but start to investigate the prospect of an early career change. I decided to dip my toes into the water by researching how I could deviate from my current career trajectory and on to a flight path that felt was right for me. I started to browse for an educational institution and a training program suitable for airline pilots’ qualifications but found that most integrated programs cost between €70k-€100k. I read advice online that pointed to studying in a modular way, allowing me to breakdown the key elements, while simultaneously earning. Key pilot qualifications include:

Private Pilot License (PPL)
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)
Multi Engine Rating (ME)
Airline Transport Pilot License Theory (ATPL)

Working in this way would allow me to tick off the modules individually while I saved for the next one — but the challenge for me here is that it would obviously take a lot more time. And I already felt like I had wasted enough time up to this point. I also found out that ATPL integrated training and airline cadet programs are also available to would-be pilots. This route allows recruits to learn all the skills and complete the necessary qualifications they need to become an airline pilot almost immediately. ‘Perfect!’ I thought. Until I soon found out that you need to pay the full amount up-front too… Pilot training schools often state that after their training programs, students are ready to work for airlines. However, as I was told by a former recruit at an open day, even after investing up to €100k there is no guarantee that you will get a job at an airline. So, as well as trying to convince a sponsor (in my case, my parents) to help me with the investment, I couldn’t guarantee when we’d see a return with a career, and a salary as a pilot either.

A key discovery

I was starting to stress as I didn’t want to choose between years of study, huge fees, and no guarantee of a job after completion. I was going to let go of my dream for the second time. I’m not sure if it was fate, but my father called me one day and asked if I had ever heard about BAA Training which he had come across online. I had heard of it, but what I didn’t realize is that they run a pilot training and employment program that guarantees a role as a pilot with one of their 5 airline partners. This was music to my ears and exactly what I was looking for. I raced to my laptop to find out more. I discovered that BAA Training had over 16 years of experience in the airline pilot training sector and have partnerships with trusted airlines including Vueling, LOT, Turkish Airlines, Avion Express, SmartLynx.


Even though the introduction to BAA was via my parents, they were also proving to be a key hurdle to clear with the funding aspect ― eek! And understandably, to be fair. However, we evaluated the return on investment for the BAA program to pinpoint how long it would take to start recovering our joint expenditure if I joined the program. According to our research and calculations, the investment would become profitable within 4 years from the start of the program to my first day beginning a career with an airline.

Earning my wings

After multiple rounds of discussions, my parents agreed to work with me to supplement my savings and the loan I planned to take with my bank. I also met with a BAA Training consultant who advised me to opt for the BAA Cadet Program — this course would allow me to pass my qualifications and opt for a guaranteed airline role with one of the 5 airline partners that suited me the most. Once I had passed the initial assessment with BAA I was inducted onto the program and started to study. Throughout my training, I started to build strong relationships with my instructors who themselves were airline pilots, captains, or TRI/TRE instructors at well-known airlines. I had a sense that they were always on the lookout for talented individuals as well as leading us through the core training modules. It made me feel extremely positive and drove me to work harder. The great thing about the program was that my BAA consultant, Donata, was always available from start to finish. She ensured I had all the correct training equipment, resolved any questions I had, and provided assistance with anything I needed to succeed. She even provided me with additional technological innovations that I used independently at home ― most notably, remote theory training, and virtual reality glasses for MCC training.

A proud First Officer

By 20 months, I was airline-ready for a First Officer position and had been recommended by one of the instructors to become a pilot with WizzAir. I couldn’t believe it; less than 2 years of training and I was ready to fly! As a guide, the key milestones for me were:

Ground School — 10 months
Flight School — 8 months
Final examinations — 2 months
Total: 20 months

If you have the same urge to fly as I had, don’t waste any more time, and follow your dream!


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Daniel took control of his pilot career with independent type rating training

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Now he’s sharing how he landed his first role onboard an Airbus A320…

It’s been a turbulent time for trainee pilots over the past 3 years, believe me, because I was one of them! The industry was already heading towards a global pilot shortage before the pandemic, so many airlines instituted cadet pilot programs to fill their talent pipelines. For trainees such as myself, these reports were music to my ears, with the prospect of a career as a pilot very much in my own hands.

But as in many walks of life, things didn’t go according to the master plan, although I have to say, there wasn’t much I could do about it. When the global pandemic struck, operators paused or cancelled trainee pilot programs around the world and plunged many trainee pilots into uncertainty over both our short and long-term futures. Thankfully, airlines and operators have now resumed their focus on new pilot development, although concurrently, the industry also faces a global shortage of certified flight instructors, which has had a direct impact on qualified pilot numbers.

Recovery for the industry — a new hope.

As the industry started to recover from the pandemic in the early part of 2022, demand for staff across the aviation industry increased significantly. There are plentiful opportunities available across Europe, with Boeing reporting European airlines must hire 6,000 pilots a year for the next two decades.

How my journey unfolded. 

For budding commercial airline pilots, the flightpath to earning your wings is a long and winding one. Once you get through the aviation academy you then take your ATPL Theory at Ground School, before moving to your Flight Training Base — mine was at Lleida-Alguaire in Spain. There, you achieve your instrument and multi-engine piston ratings, put in your flight time for upset prevention and recovery, etc., before you can start your Type Rating and go out into the big wide world to find your first job as a pilot.

Finding that first job is perhaps the hardest part of the entire process. If you’re lucky enough to get snapped up by an airline early, then you may be able to get your type rating training sponsored.  However, it’s a super competitive part of the process, particularly for major airlines, and I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a sponsorship. I was confused as after attending several interviews, I was being asked if I had my type rating training qualification already, something I thought would always be provided for me.

To type, or not to type.

I researched the subject and there seemed to be a divide as to whether it was worth investing in type rating training or not, as some airlines do pay for the qualifications including Wind Jet, Meridiana Fly, and Avion Express to name a few. However, I had also heard the opinion from several different pilot trainees that told me if I completed the type rating training independently, it would give me an additional competitive advantage in the selection process. That was all good and well, but I knew the cost for taking the training independently was somewhere in the region of €20k — €30k, which would be a big gamble without a guarantee of a job on the other side. 

Taking the plunge. 

As you can imagine, I was at real cross-roads. I was being rejected for opportunities and I had two choices. Wait it out and keep going, or pay for the training up front at my own cost? I started to research again. And again. I found out that in many cases, if I secured a role and the airline covered my type rating training, I’d still have to pay it back out of my salary. I’d also be bound to that airline for a long period of time, upon signing a contract. It seemed I could be given the type rating training completely free of charge.  I also read in some circumstances that pilots had even paid 50-60% more with interest over the duration of their contract. I still wasn’t 100% convinced though.

Well, that was until I ran into an acquaintance from my flight school in the airport of all places! She told me that she herself had invested in the A320 type rating training with BAA Training and that she had the choice to complete the training at schools in either Spain or Lithuania on the A320 Full Flight Simulator (FFS). She then continued to tell me about the training program, which included a bespoke airline interview preparation module, taught by an experienced pilot. The plot started to thicken…


Becoming airline-ready 

Another stand out feature of the package was the guarantee of an airline interview. The full BAA Training package included:

Type Rating (Airbus A320)
Airline interview preparation course with psychological coaching
Base Training
Airline job interview guaranteed for students with good academic results

I was given a good quote for the package, and I was also offered additional technological innovations that I could use independently at home, namely VR glasses for interactive training and practice, which I naturally accepted and used continuously throughout the program.  A dream becomes a reality.  The training was a tough but enjoyable 2 months, and due to the results, I achieved, BAA Training recommended me to one of their airline partners, and that’s where I find myself today. My dream as a child became a reality and I’m now at the end of my line training, with the finish line in sight.  I’ve since found out that around 50% of completed self-sponsored type rating trainees from BAA Training secure a role with an airline. There’s still no guarantee, but what I can say is that if you achieve good results then you will be way ahead of the competition when it comes to those who are fresh out of their airline qualification course.

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Iceland’s First Electric Flight

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Iceland’s first electric flight had some notable passengers – the Icelandic president and prime minister.

Iceland’s first electric flight took place on August 23, 2022, with some notable passengers. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the President of Iceland, and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister, each caught a ride as Iceland’s first electric aircraft took to the skies.

This electric airplane is a two-seater Pipistrel manufactured in Slovenia and a registration TF-KWH. According to the Icelandic Transport Authority, this aircraft was manufactured in 2021; it has a maximum weight of 600 kilograms and can only carry one passenger at a time.

Icelandair said the commercial service last week represented the first step “in an important journey towards more environmentally friendly aviation. The opportunities for Iceland are great due to short domestic flight routes, access to green energy, and Iceland’s location between Europe and North America.”

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FAQs about Cadet Programs with Spanish Airlines

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Have you heard the latest news? BAA Training has launched two cadet programs with two Spanish airlines. If you succeed in the assessment, you will get a letter of engagement from the airline, which can be perceived as a conditional job guarantee. Both operators are well-established in the market and are looking for new talents. Do you think it can be your perfect starting point? Make sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions Part 2 below then!

Can I join if I am under 18, provided that all other requirements are met?

It is possible to start the application process and theory training at 17 years old. However, a student must be at least 18 to begin flight training.

Is speaking Spanish necessary for these cadet programs?

The knowledge of Spanish is advantageous but not necessary.

What about the upper age to start training under a Spanish cadet program?

The upper age limit is 35 years old to apply for a cadet program at a Spanish airline.

Where is the theoretical part held?

You have three options to choose from: Lithuania, Spain or online via a unique, specially dedicated virtual classroom.

What does the total cost for this program cover?

The total cadet program cost includes ATPL Integrated, Type rating and Base training. Accommodation and living expenses are covered by the student separately.

What is the initial salary once hired and what is its progress?

The information about the salaries is confidential, and it varies from company to company. However, as a new First Officer, you may expect around 2 000 – 3 000 EUR per month. As you gain experience and flight hours, your salary will grow. In 3-4 years, a First Officer’s salary is about 4000 Eur on average. The airline captain’s salary range is 6000 – 10000 Eur.

What are the other options to partially finance the training fee?

Usually, students or their parents/relatives take bank loans to finance the training. The best way to learn about funding is to contact your local banks and ask them what options they can offer.

Can I start the program not from the beginning if I have passed some modules?

You can start the Spanish cadet program without experience or with a PPL licence.

During the assessment process, can the interview be held online?

The assessment organized by BAA Training can be done online or in our training centre in Lithuania. The final interview with the airlines will be held online or face-to-face, depending on the airline’s decision.

Is it possible to complete the training extra-occupational?

Spanish cadet programs are full-time training courses. However, if you choose to complete the ATPL theory via a virtual classroom, you may combine it with a part-time job.

What happens after I complete the assessment?

After you pass the final interview with the airline, it will issue a letter of intent. It means they are ready to hire you, subject to your studying performance.

Is the program only integrated or is there a modular option?

Under the Spanish cadet program, you will be doing an ATPL Integrated course, followed by Type Rating and Base training.

If you think the Spanish program is the right match for you, do contact us to find out more. In the end, you will proudly become a pilot on Airbus A320, the world‘s top passenger jetliner and fly for one of the leading airlines in Europe!

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17-year-old Pilot Was the Youngest to Fly Solo Around the World

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Mack Rutherford, the Belgian-British dual national, a 17-year-old pilot, became the youngest person to fly solo around the world. He spent five months traveling through 52 countries and crossing the equator twice.

He ended his journey in Bulgaria on Wednesday and now holds two Guinness World Records as the youngest person to fly around the world and the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in a microlight plane.

“I am trying to show with this trip that young people can make a difference, you don’t have to be eighteen to do something special, just follow your dreams and eventually they will come true, no matter what age you are,” he said.

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Incident with Turkish Airlines: A330 Tail Strike on Takeoff

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An Airbus A330 belonging to Turkish Airlines scraped its tail on the runway on departure. It returned to Istanbul afterward.

The Airbus A330-300 was working flight TK726 from Istanbul Airport (IST) to Tribhuvan Worldwide Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The aircraft (TC-JOG) circled over Northern Turkey for more than four hours to burn off fuel before landing safely back on runway 35R at Istanbul Airport at around 00:40.

A post-flight inspection identified minor damage to the underside of the aircraft’s tail, and the plane was subsequently grounded.

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Lufthansa Group First Dreamliner B787 Has Been Delivered

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Yesterday Lufthansa Group celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, a 787-9, to Europe’s largest airline group at Paine Field, Everett, Wash.

The Lufthansa Group has 32 firm orders for the 787 and joins nearly 50 customers worldwide to operate the fuel-efficient and capable airplane. Using 25% less fuel and creating 25% fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace, the 787 family has avoided more than 125 billion pounds of carbon emissions since entering service in 2011.

“With the Boeing 787, we are introducing another modern aircraft type that is one of the most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft in our fleet,” said Jens Ritter, CEO Lufthansa Airlines. “This will allow us to significantly further improve the average CO2 balance. This aircraft is sustainable and offers customers a premium flying experience.”

“Today’s delivery to the Lufthansa Group is a significant milestone for both companies as we resume European 787 deliveries and Lufthansa receives its first 787. I am delighted to see Lufthansa join a growing set of airlines worldwide operating the industry’s most capable twin-engine airplane,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With unmatched fuel efficiency and huge passenger appeal, the 787 will play an integral role in the Lufthansa Group’s long-haul network.”

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BAA Training Vietnam and Bamboo Airways Launch the First MPL Program in Vietnam

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On January 12, 2023, the MPL (Multi-Crew Pilot License) program of Bamboo Airways and BAA Training was officially approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), becoming the first and only program of such type in Vietnam.

BAA Training Vietnam, a leading pilot training center, and Bamboo Airways, a 5 star-oriented full-service carrier, have signed a 3-year cooperation agreement defining BAA Training Vietnam as a prestigious partner of Bamboo Airways for training initial cadets for MPL program, the first of its kind in the Vietnamese aviation market.

The future Bamboo Airways’ pilots will be completing the MPL program, fully approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) on January 12, 2023. Bamboo Airways has become Vietnam’s first and only airline to deliver an exceptional MPL program. Initially, the plan is to train approximately 100 student pilots within 3 years, from 2023 to 2025.

Vytautas Jankauskas, CEO of BAA Training Vietnam, says: “Both BAA Training and Bamboo Airways share the same values. They ensure initial cadets get high-quality, comprehensive training complying with the industry regulatory requirements, where aviation safety practices play a fundamental role. Our collaboration with Bamboo Airways allows us to combine our efforts and introduce a new MPL training program following EASA’s rules and regulations. We expect to have a new generation of pilots to serve the airline industry in Vietnam.”

“We especially appreciate Bamboo Airways’ transparency, willingness to take an innovative approach, and use of modern business management methods. The newly launched MPL program will allow us to contribute to developing the Vietnamese aviation sector by preparing self-disciplined pilots with the right skillset ready to work in a complex operational environment,” he added.

Nguyen Manh Quan, CEO of Bamboo Airways, says: “The MPL program conducted by Bamboo Airways and BAA Training is the first and only comprehensive initial cadet training program in Vietnam. We hope that this advanced and cost-optimized program will open the door for Vietnamese student pilots to realize their dream of conquering the sky.

We are now strengthening our time-tested partnership with BAA Training with the new MPL training program. This will significantly assist us in shaping a new generation of professional and skillful pilots meeting international standards to best serve both domestic and international markets. Our cooperation with such a prestigious aviation service provider marks the next milestone in Bamboo Airways’ roadmap toward the self-provided pilot source”.

The MPL program is designed to bring advanced pilot training methods with many outstanding advantages. The training time is optimized to 18 months, following modern European standards, along with up to 30% cost savings compared to traditional training programs. 100% of graduated student pilots will be guaranteed jobs with one of the most attractive benefit policies in Vietnam’s aviation market.

The launch of the MPL program is another step in strengthening the existing partnership between Bamboo Airways and BAA Training, the beginning of which dates back to 2019. Since then, BAA Training Vietnam has been supporting Bamboo Airways’ pilots with Airbus A320 full flight simulator training and arranged Type Rating training for Embraer aircraft type with the help of its partnership network in Europe.

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Norwegian Expects to Reopen Barcelona Base

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Norwegian has announced it will be based in Barcelona again in 2023. 

The airline will cover short-haul operations from El Prat and employ 800 staff for its seasonal base. Three hundred pilots and five hundred cabin crew are to be hired. It also plans to get more aircraft in its fleet, with the most recent order containing 50+ Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to be delivered between 2025 and 2028.

The CEO of Norwegian said: “The overall terms achieved are attractive for Norwegian, and the deal fits well with our long-term fleet strategy and route program. It will enable us to serve our customers with modern fuel-efficient aircraft with the latest technology, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. The deal will also strengthen the company’s equity considerably, further solidifying Norwegian’s financial position.”

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