According to CNN, major airline pilots have low job fatality rates. Innovations in weather reporting, navigational equipment, and positioning devices have cut down on accidents considerably. However, casualties are inevitable and usually unexpected. Having the right knowledge, skills, and necessary life-saving techniques give definitely an edge to a pilot if such incident happens in the future.

Last March 8 this year, our Airline Pilot Program (APP) Batch 34 was spared from a day of flying to undergo Jungle Survival Training at Jest Survival Camp in Subic. They are the second batch from the school to do the training since it started last 2017.

Entrance of JEST Survival Camp in Subic.

Stunning view of the mountains and sea of Subic.

To start the day off, a brief introduction and orientation about the activities were held. After that, the cadets were taught how to utilize the use of bamboo in creating utensils such as cup, plate, spoon, and fork. Then, the guide showed them how to produce fire without using a match and cook food using the bamboo again to be able to completely eat a decent meal for the day.

Manong showing them how to produce fire using bamboo shoots.

Cadets attentively listening to their guides.

Surviving in the jungle and keeping yourself safe would be very difficult if you don’t know how to navigate and if you’re not familiar with the surroundings. To get enlightened, the cadets went on a six-hour trek to the mountains of Subic.

Flight instructors leading the trek under the heat of the scorching sun.

Cadet Listano poses for the camera at the summit of the mountain.

Environmental studies were conducted to recognize which animals, insects, and basic or medicinal plants are edible. They also went to Boton Falls for a quick dip to freshen up a bit and feel the cold fresh water from the mountains.

“Which is which?” Manong guide helps the cadets identify which among the plants in the jungle are necessary for survival.

“Making friends” The cadets met a local looking for freshwater crabs and shrimp for dinner.

The training would not be proven successful if the participants are not put to a test. To see if they can apply what they’ve learned from the whole day activity, the cadet themselves made bamboo utensils and cooked raw food. Getting water from a specific vine and producing natural shampoo from another type of tree is one of the basic techniques they accomplished to do as well.

Flight Instructor Alfredo Dizon drinking water from a vine.

“Group selfie” All smiles on their faces despite such tiring and challenging day.

Here’s a short testimonial from Cadet Yuan Salac on his thoughts about the training they had as a batch which strengthened more their relationship with each other.

Cadet Salac (left) with Cadet Mapa (right) showing off their handmade hat from the tree leaves.

“Our jungle survival training was fun and educational. The things we learned during our training would not only help us in emergency situations but also in our daily lives. It also taught us to value the simple thing that we have (ex. plates, food, cook set, utensils, LPG, and others). The trainers helped us to easily navigate through the jungle life environment by not only teaching us the theories but also showing practical examples such as how to create fire, cook and eat using bamboo, knowing the plants that we could eat and others. The training also builds our camaraderie not just within our batch but also with our instructors and staff.”

All APP cadets from Alpha Aviation Group are now required to undergo the Jungle Survival seminar as their part of the training towards becoming an airline pilot.—

April is the month when most college students graduate from their university in our country. After all the hard work and what seemed like endless nights of plates and projects, the day has finally arrived to start a new chapter of life being independent in the reality of workforce. However, one often wonder what step to do next now that the routine life in school is gone.

Asian College of Aeronautics’ new batch of graduates ready to join the workforce.

To help you answer these questions, let us share to you an inspiring speech from AAG’s Regional Director, Cris Magdangal, delivered to a strong number of 143 graduates from Asian College of Aeronautics in their 6th Commencement Exercise last April 12 this year.

Regional Director Cris Magdangal is the event’s Guest of Honor and Speaker.

 

“At the onset, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Asian College of Aeronautics for inviting me to address its 6th Commencement Exercises.

Allow me as well to congratulate the 143-strong members of the graduating batch for a job well done. We share the felicitation and this honor to the proud parents, relatives, and loved ones.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant morning.

We are witnessing “a new golden age of aviation” right here, right now.

From the Wright Brothers’ 59-second 852 feet-long flight onboard their Flyer at Kitty Hawk in 1903; the 1935 crossing of the Pacific from San Francisco to Manila by Pan Am’s China Clipper; the B707’s ushering in of the jetliners age in 1957; to the maiden flight of the B747 jumbo jet in 1969;

We have the privilege, right within our own lifetime, of seeing the rise (and later, fall) of the A380; experiencing the new routes being opened by Boeing and Airbus with their 787s and 350s; benefiting from the game-changing LCC strategy trailblazed by Southwest Airlines — later copied by Ryanair and EasyJet in Europe and by AirAsia in Asia;

And now, the amazing reduction of travel time from Australia to the U.K. from what used to be 12 days in the 1930s, 4 days in the 1940s, 2 days in the 1950s, down to just 17 hours non-stop this year.

As what Richard Quest says in his CNN report: “aviation has been about innovation…with more of us flying long distances to more places, this is truly a golden age of air travel.”

 

What drives this unprecedented growth in the aviation industry?

According to a 2016 Forbes.com online article:

  1. “Rising GDP, and consequently, disposable income and living standards, result in an increased demand for air travel for both business and leisure purposes.”

In our case here in the Philippines, NEDA’s “AmBisyon Natin 2040” depicts the growing propensity of Filipinos to travel.

      2. “Recent studies by International Air Transport Association have concluded that working-age population makes more trips than its older and younger counterparts. As a result, countries witnessing a shift in demographic trends in favor of working-age population are likely to see higher growth in their air traffic.”

Ever heard the word “BLEISURE”? — it’s how our millennials see the letter “B” in business, and to them, it does not stand for the word “boring”. They work and earn to travel. They no longer abide by our notion of “work-life balance”. They now look for “work-life mix”. They are now shaping the future of work, travel…and love!  

      3.“Cost of travel is essentially the price paid by the customer to buy an air ticket. As air travel becomes cheaper, a larger number of people are able to afford it, resulting in an increase in traffic.”

Have you tried staying up from midnight ‘til late in front of your laptop, patiently “lying in wait” for that 1-peso airfare? If you haven’t tried, then you are so ‘90s!

Based on the latest aviation industry outlook, Asia Pacific is number 1 in the world in terms of passengers’ numbers with China, the U.S., India, Indonesia, and Turkey contributing the biggest chunk of the 35% market share. 

Asian airlines are likewise among the fastest growing, with AirAsia ordering more than 500 Airbus A320s in the next decade.

Everything translates to increased demand for pilots. Imagine where to find 90 thousand pilots for Asia-Pacific alone over the next ten years!

All throughputs combined, the three to four thousand of so flight training organizations (FTOs) around the world can only produce 10 thousand pilots a year. This includes the production of the 30-plus FTOs in the Philippines.

With this ever-increasing demand, new and innovative pilot career pathways and training systems are required to meet crewing needs and safety standards.

Demand for pilots is increasing…

Demand for cabin crew is likewise increasing…

And airline technicians are equally in demand. For those of you who are still looking for opportunities, you need not go far. We have in the Philippines three (3) of the world’s biggest MRO providers: Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Singapore Engineering Philippines and Hong Kong’s Metrojet Engineering. For those itching for adventures abroad, North America and Europe can be viable options.

We at Alpha Aviation Group actively contributes to the growing industry. With our vision of providing every flight deck in the region with an airline-ready pilot, we constantly pursue to train and develop not only world-class pilots but future leaders for the industry as well. This we accomplish by providing top-of-class training solutions to our airline partners and cadets.

Our training philosophy revolves around the following core principles: we commit to training value, quality, and safety. As the only ISO 9001:2015 Certified FTO in the Philippines, our international and regulatory certifications and accreditations speak well of this commitment.

We have adopted and put up various management and operations systems and tools to aid us in our day-to-day and strategic/long-term initiatives.

Our training philosophy likewise revolves around our sincere commitment to service excellence, customer satisfaction, and teamwork.

Our Quality, Safety, and Compliance systems are designed to adhere to the highest standards in the world.

Our diverse human capital drives its visionary and pioneering management, training, product development, and support teams.

Our products and services are geared to provide complete solutions to our partners’ training needs.

We currently operate the youngest, safest, most advanced, and highly-efficient trainer aircraft fleet (all Cessna 172) in the Philippines. Flying at an average of 150 hours per month, our Cessnas goes through the doubly-meticulous Cessna PhaseCard Inspection Program.

For greater flexibility in executing our basic flight training, we currently operate in three (3) hubs.

Our Simulator Training Center boasts of a 99% reliability rate, 24/7-365 days a year operations, something that would practically be impossible without the infrastructure, support system and most importantly, human knowledge and expertise to back it up.

By 2019, we shall be seeing another A320 full flight simulator added to our growing inventory of simulator training devices.

As shown in one of my previous slides, shortage of workforce is also evident in the MRO industry — no longer a mere projection but a stark reality. The “baby boomers” are retiring and most millennials lack interest. In fact, in the most recent report of the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), 20% of aviation maintenance technician (AMT) graduates pursue careers in other industries and only 60% take the FAA mechanic certification test.

The good news, however, is that practical interventions are available. Fortunately, ,in our case, the K-12 Program has paved the way for a sharper focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education making our younger and upcoming generation of workforce ready to face the challenges of a globalized and more technologically advanced and driven world.

We have to be more innovative in recruiting, training and engaging our millennial workforce.

At AAG, we are currently pursuing the “Women in Aviation” advocacy — reaching out to more women and helping them plan for their future career in the aviation industry. Initially intended to encourage more women toward pilot training, this is something that all of us in the aviation industry can pursue, celebrating the contribution not just of our female pilots but also of our female cabin and ground crew, admin and support, and maintenance and electronic technicians.     

That is the interesting and challenging flight you are about taking, dear graduates. At 143-strong, you will most likely not create even a slight dent in the aggregate demand, but will most definitely make a big difference. 

And it will all depend on how you translate the knowledge, skills, and attitude you gained from ACA into meaningful work and performance.

ACA has certainly accomplished well its two-pronged mission of providing quality education and producing quality graduates.

As ACA slowly realizes its vision of becoming a center of excellence able to address the needs of the aviation industry, we are confident that the education you have earned has prepared you well to co-own and eventually accomplish and share ACA’s goals, and these are: support national development and uplift the marginalized sector, provide leadership and become productive citizens.

 

Before I end, let me share with the ACA community and to you dear graduates, AAG’s game plan for the future.

We seek for and eagerly look forward to an expanded regional and global footprint and stronger partnerships; acquire more certifications, accreditations and advanced equipment and facilities; continually aim to provide world-class products and services.

With sustained collaboration between and among all aviation industry stakeholders including us, we shall soon see the Philippines emerged as the premier civil and military aviation training and maintenance hub in the region.

We are now ready to take off and start this new chapter in our history. Let us all join hands together, discover new horizons of opportunities and conquer the skies together!

Again, congratulations, Mabuhay and good morning to all.—”

The students waiting for their name to be called by their teacher for the last time.

One female graduate with awards presented by Mr. Cris.

To know more about how AAG can help you reach for the stars, click CONTACT US and we’ll be very willing to talk with you.

 

AAG’s Airline Pilot Program and First Officer Transition graduates meet up for the first time to strengthen alumni relationship and discuss further collaborative projects

Clark, Pampanga— Alpha Aviation Group (AAG) held its first ever alumni meet last 22nd of March in its training grounds in Clark to promote a day of fellowship and camaraderie among graduates, cadets, and employees.

AAG Regional Director Cris Magdangal with APP alumni from Batches 17 to 22

  The said event attended by more than 10 alumni is a vehicle for AAG to achieve the starting association’s strategic objectives, mainly—alumni accomplishments; alumni participation; cadet referrals; and “pay it forward” projects.

Mr. Ruel Rombaoa (Sales and Marketing Manager) spearheaded the planning and discussion among the alumni, cadets, and employees.

Cadet Angelo Listano (APP Batch 34) sharing his thoughts regarding the formation of alumni network

An introductory speech was also delivered by the newly promoted Cebu Pacific airline Captain Marco Bayrante who is an accomplished alumnus from the Airline Pilot Program (APP) Batch 1 to inspire the on-going cadet pilots in their journey of pursuing their dream career.

Left to Right: Mr. Robert Matutina (Chief Ground Instructor) together with Capt. Bayrante (APP Batch 1), F.O. Allan Villagracia (TRT), and Ms. Rufina Santos (Client and Student Relations Manager)

More alumni meetings are to be organized soon including an upcoming Grand Alumni Homecoming this year where alumni achievements are to be recognized as discussed by AAG’s Regional Director, Mr. Cristopher Magdangal, in his inspirational speech.

RD Cris Magdangal delivering his inspiring speech to AAG alumni, students, and employees about the future game plan of the company

The program ended with a campus tour to highlight the latest facilities enhancement in the training grounds and cadet-alumni meet and greet for the lower batches to get to know more their upper batch mates.—

AAG alumni, cadets, and some employees in one photograph

Photos by: Delmar Iso

Alpha Aviation Group, one of Asia’s leading pilot training providers, has launched its new multi-million dollar Full Flight Airbus A330/A340 simulator at a ceremony at its Clark training facility in the Philippines. 

The first wide body and state-of-the-art simulator in the Philippines, has complete Airbus A330 and A340 functionality — fully replicating the cockpit experience and functions of both planes.

The purchase of the simulator comes at a critical moment for the aviation industry across Asia-Pacific. Falling oil prices coupled with a rising middle-class in the region have led to a surge in demand for air travel, in turn driving demand for more pilots.

As a result, Boeing predicts the Asia-Pacific region will need an additional 248,000 pilots by 2035 – 40% of the global total of 617,000 new pilots required.

Furthermore, a large portion of this growing demand in Asia-Pacific is for long-haul travel, which requires wide body aircraft such as the A330 and A340. In recent years many airlines have increased their wide body fleets and Southeast Asia’s wide body fleet grew by more than 30% in 2015.

The simulator will be financed in agreement with BDO Leasing & Finance, the leasing and finance division of the Philippines largest bank.

The launch event was attended by Bhanu Choudhrie, Founder of C&C Alpha Group; Cristopher Magdangal, Alpha Aviation Group Regional Director – Asia Pacific; Roberto E. Lapid, Vice Chairman & President of BDO Leasing, Agerico Verzola, First Vice President of BDO Leasing; Artemio Tuazon Jr, Chief of Staff of the Philippines Department of Transportation; and Cherian Thomas, Non-Executive Director of C&C Alpha Group.  

Also in attendance were a number of officials from leading regional airlines, government officials, diplomats and representatives from local educational institutions. 

Bhanu Choudhrie, Founder of C&C Alpha Group, said:

“As the first simulator of its kind in the region, the Full Flight A330/A340 simulator will unlock the potential of cadets across the Asia-Pacific region – enabling them to master new skills and fulfil their career prospects. This new simulator will assist airlines across the region in both training more pilots, and at a lower cost, ensuring the region is equipped to meet the increasing demand for more commercial aviators.” 

Cristopher Magdangal, Alpha Aviation Group Regional Director of Asia Pacific, said:

“This simulator is an integral step in our commitment to provide cutting-edge facilities founded upon a progressive attitude towards cadet training. At a time where new, talented pilots are needed more than ever in the South-East Asia region, the launch of this state-of-the-art simulator will boost regional growth ensure that AAG remains at the forefront of pilot training solutions across.”

 

For further information, please contact:

James Brilliant

jamesb@pha-media.com

0207 025 1374

Kc Garcia

keziah.garcia@aag.aero

0917 823 5904 

 

NOTE TO EDITORS

Alpha Aviation Group is a leading international pilot training solution provider, and part of the international private equity firm, C & C Alpha Group, which has a 30-year track record of incubating successful businesses.

Alpha Aviation Group specializes in airline training solutions, offering traditional cadet programmed, Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL) and Type Rating training. The organization holds approvals under several aviation authorities, providing pilots in its target region with the highest possible standard of training.

The group currently consists of Alpha Aviation Group in the Philippines, and Alpha Aviation Academy in the UAE, which has the largest Multi-Crew Pilot License programmed in the Middle East.

 

Alpha Aviation Group, a leading pilot training provider in the Asia-Pacific, is pursuing its investment into pilot training by signing a financing agreement with BDO Leasing & Finance. The agreement covers the acquisition of a brand new Airbus A330 Full Flight Simulator, the first wide-body simulator in the Philippines and the latest simulator with Airbus A340 functionality built globally.
The covenant between AAG and BDOLF comes at a time of tremendous growth now being seen in Southeast Asia’s airline industry, as demand for commercial pilots surpasses the current supply. Recently, Boeing has forecasted that 617,000 more commercial pilots will be needed globally by 2034, with 248,000 (40%) required across Southeast Asia.

“BDO Leasing is truly excited with our partnership with Alpha Aviation Group being one of the leading global pilot training providers. It comes at an opportune time when the Philippines and the ASEAN Region, as a whole, is poised to economically grow faster than other countries in the world. We thank Alpha Aviation Group for establishing Clark Pampanga as its main training hub because this will increase the number and improve the skills of Filipino pilots. Further, the simulator will be available to neighboring countries that are increasing its fleet of Airbus A330 & A340,” said Roberto Lapid, President of BDO Leasing & Finance.

For AAG’s part, finance manager Christine Legaspi, said, “The addition of the A330 full flight simulator with A340 option marks not only a significant milestone in the growth of Alpha Aviation Group but also our company’s timely collaboration with BDO, the Philippines’ biggest bank, toward a shared goal that is to support the aviation sector development.

This acquisition project is a true testament of our company’s dedication to develop the Philippines as an aviation hub in the Southeast Asia Pacific Region.  We continually welcome opportunities to build and grow this partnership allowing for sharing of fresh perspectives, encouraging synergies, and creating value for all.”

For further information, please contact Keziah Garcia, Alpha Aviation Group: keziah.garcia@aag.aero
For media inquiries, please contact James Brilliant: jamesb@pha-media.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Alpha Aviation Group is a global provider of aviation training solutions for the airline industry. Operating through its two main training platforms located in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia, AAG trains hundreds of new pilots for its airline partners on a yearly basis.

In Southeast Asia, Alpha Aviation Group Philippines continues to support numerous airline partners throughout the region and is announcing further developments in the coming months. In the Middle East, Alpha Aviation Academy has become the largest Multi-Crew Pilot License training provider in the region and one of the largest globally. The platform has also been nominated Aviation Training provider of the year in 2016.