Boeing kicks off flight training outsourcing with contract pilots

The aerospace market giant, Boeing has come up with a new initiative of sending non-Boeing temporary pilots for flight crew training.

The Boeing Company is a global leader in aerospace industry, manufacturing commercial jetliners and application systems for defense, space and security. The U.S. Company, having corporate offices in Chicago has their services over 150 countries. The employee strength of the company is scattered across their two business units, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security, which is roughly 170,000 numbers.

Boeing 787. Source Wiki

Since the incorporation of Boeing in 1916, they offer flight crew training only to full-time, experienced Boeing pilots.  This new proposal is really beneficial for other companies in aerospace industry, as they can have their pilots get trained under an industry major.

According to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, there is no much overhead in training temporary pilots. The very first customers to receive this outsourced flight crew training are Qatar Airways and LAN Airlines. Though there are experienced and full-time Boeing instructor pilots are available to support Qatar and LAN, the company has opted for contract pilots for training to leverage the cost angle. This is a risky step for the major as this could adversely affect their reputation. There is a potential danger that that the contract pilots may be sometimes less experienced than the customers, which can negatively affect their competency when it comes to providing training to flight crew of clients.

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and Air India are some of the customers who had received the training from full-time Boeing pilots. There are a lot of pitfalls in employing contract pilots for training purpose of Boeing 787. According to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), they did not take part in the flight test and certification program.

Actually, Boeing customers expect to have an experienced flight and training instructors to handle the training process. But this move from Boeing could lead to their dissatisfaction. This outsourcing move from Boeing using contract pilots is expected to undergo some rethinking in the coming days as there is widespread protests and concerns being raised against this move. Though outsourcing flight training services is a good move from Boeing but they have to think on training using full-time Boeing pilots instead of contract pilots if they want to sustain this for a longer period of time.

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