SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Airbus have opened a new training centre at Seletar amid growing demand for pilots and other aircraft crew.
The Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) is 55 per cent owned by the European plane maker and 45 per cent by SIA.
The 9,250 sq m facility at Seletar Aerospace Park offers training for all in-production Airbus planes including the A-380 and A-350.
When fully operational, it will be Airbus' largest training centre worldwide after those located at the firm's headquarters in Toulouse, France, as well as in Miami and Beijing.
The US$100 million (S$136 million) facility in Singapore will eventually have eight full-flight simulators and six fixed cockpit training devices as well as classroom facilities.
It will have the capacity to train more than 10,000 people a year.
Airbus' president and chief executive officer Fabrice Brégier, said at the official opening event on Monday (April 18): "We are extremely pleased to inaugurate, in partnership with Singapore Airlines, the latest addition to our global training network.
"The new centre combines the expertise of our two companies to offer the highest standards of training for the growing flight crew population in the Asia-Pacific region."
Airbus' investment in the joint venture is another example of the firm's commitment to bring its support services closer to customers and especially in key growth markets, he said.
SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong added: "With hundreds more new Airbus aircraft on firm order by the region's airlines, we are confident that AATC will go from strength to strength."
Seventeen airlines from Asia and the Pacific have already signed up for the different courses offered.
Airbus predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will lead demand for new aircraft in the coming years, with the in-service fleet growing from around 5,600 aircraft today to 14,000 over the next two decades.
This will see the active flight crew population employed by airlines in the region increase from over 65,000 to almost 170,000, generating significant demand for flight crew training services.
Before moving into the Seletar facility, the training centre which started offering courses in April last year was operating out of temporary facilities at the SIA Training Centre near Changi Airport.
All operations are gradually being transferred to the new centre.