Posted on: 11 February 2014 by Mark Howells
Bombardier Aerospace has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation and FlightSafety International to establish a training centre to train pilots to fly Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft for Nantong’s new airline, Sutong Airlines.
Zhou Binzhen, president, Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation Industrial, remarked that the company had been working on the airline project with Bombardier for almost three years. Sutong Airlines will serve nine airports in Tongzhou province, “which has second highest GDP of the provinces of China,” noted Zhou.
The airline is scheduled to begin flights in the second half of 2015 with its Q400s configured in a single class layout. “So the plan for the training centre is to have it ready within one year,” Zhou added. Some investment for the centre will come from the education funds of the Chinese government.
Although the aim initially is to use the training centre to develop pilots for Sutong, in the long term Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation will consider taking on third party work.
FlightSafety International brings its expertise in training and simulators and is likely to manage the centre for Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation, but final details have to be determined between now, at the LoI stage, and the final contract between the parties.
Photo shows (l-r) Mike Arcamone, president, Bombardier Commercial Aviation; Mike King, FlightSafety International; Zhou Binzhen, president, Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation Industrial; and Michel Ouellette, president, Bombardier Customer Services
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net