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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

THE TIMES OF INDIA: Warren Buffett company FlightSafety enters India


BANGALORE: FlightSafety International, one of the world's leading aviation training companies and promoted by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, has established operations in India through a consultancy and licensing agreement with Bangalore-based Aviators India.

The 60-year-old New York-based aviation company delivers over a million hours of flight training each year to pilots, technicians, cabin attendants, and aviation professionals, and is a supplier of flight simulators, visual systems and displays to commercial, government and military organizations around the world. FlightSafety's India play would start in the next four months and would begin with cabin attendant training for commercial and corporate flight operators.

"Put together (both commercial and corporate operators) there would be over 10,000 flight attendants in India. And given the number of aircraft orders airlines have placed, this vertical could well see a growth of 100% over the next five to seven years," said Captain Arun Sharma, MD, Aviators India. Aviators India has been in the business of aircraft charter services and sales of corporate jets to Indian high net worth individuals for close to two decades. In India, airline operators conduct cabin crew training in-house, with a few homegrown third party training institutions offering just cabin crew grooming. There are two types of markets in training -- the initial market and the recurrence market -- both of which FlightSafety will address in India.

"The initial market is when somebody has no experience and goes through a full training module, while the recurrence market addresses people who need refresher courses every six months or a year depending on an operator's policy," said Sharma. He added that the country's apex aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, recognizes the training given by FlightSafety.

"FlightSafety is also looking at making India a hub, providing end-to-end training services, including training on simulators, to markets such as West Asia and South East Asia," said Daniel M Yuen, MD, APAC region, FlightSafety.

"Simulators require a specific number of aircraft type and once the threshold is met we will work together with the manufacturers and make a joint decision on where to have the simulators," said Yuen.




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