Bystrice, Central Bohemia/Beijing, May 15 (CTK) – The total of Chinese pilots trained in the Czech Republic will increase up to 80 in 2018, under an agreement on strategic partnership signed during President Milos Zeman’s current visit to China, Sarka Hodkova, from the F AIR flight school, told CTK on Monday.
F AIR, whose major base is at Bystrice in the Benesov vicinity, signed the agreement with the Chinese Sichuan Airlines company.
F AIR gained the Chinese certification in October 2016 and the Czech Republic is a second country in Europe after France where Chinese airlines train their pilots.
Currently, 14 Chinese pilots are trained at the Bystrice airport. The 14-month course consists of 900 hours of theoretical and 230 flight lessons.
F AIR cooperates in the project with the Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT) and a Chinese partner agency, which prepares training candidates.
Zeman visited the airport last year and supported the training of more Chinese cadets at Bystrice.
Recently, he received a group of future pilots from China at Prague Castle.
F AIR had to raise the number of its planes and to admit new instructors in connection with the Chinese contracts.
The partnership agreement with Sichuan Airlines, which also operates regular flights from Chengdu to Prague, was signed in the presence of Zeman, the two countries’ transport and industry ministers, the head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic.
The Chinese market needs 5000 new pilots annually and about a half of them are trained abroad.
The intermediate goal of the school is to open further bases in the Czech Republic and to train 200 Chinese transport pilots annually.
F AIR was founded 27 years ago. It also operates branches of the airport in Prague, Brno and Pribram, central Bohemia, with a fleet of some 40 planes.
It trains pilots from 44 countries of four continents.
The public airport at Bystrice is situated on regional land. It is operated by the town of Bystrice through the state-subsidised organisation Letiste Benesov.
The town recently reinforced the taxiway and it plans investments in the landing track and lighting in the future.