Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s leading low-cost carrier which is owned by the Sri Lankan Government has launched an international pilot training programme to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry in the region. The new venture will enable Mihin Lanka to train inexperienced A320 type rated pilots from other international airlines, and provide them with on-the-job training delivered by Mihin Lanka’s most senior flight instructors.
Commenting on the initiative, Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Chief Pilot Training and Standards, Mihin Lanka stated, “Today most of the airlines in the Indian subcontinent are struggling to meet the demand for well-trained first officers. Therefore, we decided to use our resources to train pilots regardless of their nationality without making changes to our own local pilot training programmes. Most of the candidates who seek our training have already been offered employment with airlines in their respective countries. Due to the significant growth in the industry, combined with the shortage of qualified and experienced instructors, most of these airlines find it difficult to conduct in-house training for their first officers.
Abeywickrama further added, “Our training pilots (instructors) are relatively free between the line training programmes we normally have for our first officers. Therefore Mihin Lanka decided that it was feasible to train third party pilots in between our own training programmes. These third party trainee pilots undergo a series of evaluations before being inducted into the line training programme. They have to first convince our training management of their capabilities at an interview and at a simulator based evaluation. Once they’re successful, we further expose them to our airline orientations which include a series of ground classes.
Thereafter, Mihin Lanka’s in-house instructors and examiners will train the pilots and bring them to the national and international aviation standards that are required by both Mihin Lanka and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. The training will be conducted at Sri Lankan Airlines’ simulator training facility and pilots who are selected will receive additional line training. They will also have the opportunity to work closely with and learn from Mihin Lanka’s most senior flight instructors.”
Also commenting on the new initiative, Capt. Pujitha Jayakody, Director Flight Operations, Mihin Lanka said, “As one of the leading low-cost carriers in the region, Mihin Lanka has introduced this international training programme to meet an important need of our time. Mihin Lanka has trained up to 60 pilots in the last three years in various capacities.
These include first officers, captains and instructors. As a small yet determined airline, Mihin Lanka is proud to be contributing towards the growth and development of the local and regional aviation industry. We are also proud to say that many of the pilots we have trained, have been employed by a variety of leading international carriers including Etihad, Air Arabia in the Middle East, SriLankan Airlines, Singapore based Tiger Airways, VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines. At present we are contracted by a third party to train first officers for the Indian mega carrier Indigo Airlines. There is at present a high demand for our training services however we have only been able to accommodate a few airlines due to our limited resources.”
Also commenting on the new training programme for international pilots, Nishantha Ranatunga, Chairman / CEO, Mihin Lanka stated, “I am very pleased to see how our operations team is helping to further build the image and reputation of Mihin Lanka in the region. These innovative training programmes also help us to meet our financial targets. I also admire the dedication of our instructors and captains who are helping many young pilots fulfil their dreams of a career in aviation. The high standards maintained by the Civil Aviation Authorities are remarkable and renowned throughout the region. Many leading airlines with bigger fleets have entrusted us with the training of their pilots, showing that they have complete confidence in our world-class training capabilities.”
Mihin Lanka is a leading low-cost airline in South Asia that operates across many destinations in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and South East Asia. Since its launch in 2007, Mihin Lanka has come a long way, becoming one of the region’s most admired affordable travel brands. The airline strives to maintain the highest standards and is the only low-cost airline which provides a complimentary on-board meal and a free checked-in baggage allowance. Focused on delivering the best to its customers, Mihin Lanka continuously adapts to passenger needs, in order to further fulfil its mission of being the leading low-cost airline in the region.