Published on September 16th, 2018 | by Mark Dwyer


Ryanair and AFTA launch Mentored Pilot Programme

Ryanair and Cork based Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) have announced a new Mentored Pilot Programme that will see 450 pilots join the airline over the next 5 years. This new 16-month intensive training programme gives trainee pilots a structured path to achieve their pilot licence and reach a standard where they are ready to join the Ryanair Boeing 737 type rating programme. Trainee pilots on the Mentored Pilot Programme will be trained by AFTA instructors using Ryanair procedures as they take their first steps towards becoming Ryanair pilots.

Lunching the programme in Cork on Friday, An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, said “Ryanair is one of Ireland’s world class business successes and this announcement confirming the next generation of Ryanair pilots will be trained in Cork is a most welcome one. I hope many will be based in Cork when they qualify to fly on the new routes announced from Cork Airport. Atlantic Flight Training Academy has also established itself as an industry leader in training and this announcement confirms that. Finally, to the 450 trainees who will launch their careers from here, I wish you every success.”

The new route announcements will contribute to a 20% increase in Ryanair traffic at Cork Airport next year.

Ryanair also used the event to launch its Cork summer 2019 schedule, with 3 new routes to London Luton, Malta and Poznan with one further route to be confirmed. That makes 16 routes in total which will deliver 1.1m customers through Cork Airport next year, a 20% increase in Ryanair traffic.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs, said: “Ryanair is pleased to announce this training partnership with AFTA which has an impressive track record in training top-class pilots to the highest standards. This partnership, along with our biggest ever Cork Summer 2019 schedule with 16 routes, including 4 exciting new routes to TBC, London Luton, Malta and Poznan, further cements our commitment to the Munster region. Our Summer 2019 schedule will deliver 1.1m customers p.a. at Cork airport, all at the lowest fares, as we continue to grow Cork routes, traffic, tourism and jobs.”

Neal McMahon, Deputy Director Flight Operations Ryanair, Captain Andy O’Shea, Head of Training Ryanair, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Niall McCarthy, MD Cork Airport and Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer Ryanair

Ryanair’s Head of Training Captain Andy O’Shea said “We have carefully chosen AFTA as our cadet training partner in Ireland due to their high standards in initial flying training and MCC training. We are very pleased to lend our operational expertise to AFTA especially in the provision of what will be an outstanding Airline Pilot Standard MCC. This combination will be the best possible preparation for an airline career with Ryanair.”

Mark Casey, Managing Director at AFTA, said “We are delighted to be chosen as the mentored pilot programme partner for Ryanair in Ireland. AFTA has a long-standing relationship with Ryanair and a large number of our graduates currently fly as First officers, Captains, Training Captains and management pilots with the airline. The “Mentored Pilot Programme” will give successful applicants accepted on the Ryanair Mentored Pilot Programme a clear path towards a long and successful career as a Ryanair pilot. Ryanair’s training department is recognised as the best in the industry and mentored Cadets will have access to Ryanair training applications and systems from commencement of training.”

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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