Minister Simon Coveney Launches Event Announcing Contract Win for Cork based Atlantic Flight Training Academy with Turkish Airlines

7th December 2015

Atlantic Flight
L to R: Mark Casey, CEO Atlantic Flight Training Academy and Head of Pilot Training; Jerry Moloney, Enterprise Ireland; Murat Balandi, Ireland Manager, Turkish Airlines; Minister Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine;  First year Turkish Airlines Cadet Burcu Uysal.

At a function this morning at their facilities in Cork Airport, Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA), announced a significant contract win with award-winning Turkish Airlines, to train its cadet pilots from AFTA’s base in Cork Airport. The Cadet Pilot Training agreement with Turkish Airlines, represents the first for an Irish company, which is regulated by the Irish Aviation Authority under the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Amongst those attending the event are Minister Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence; Captain Ambrose Blain, Training Management, Turkish Airlines, Captain Cem Firat, Flight Training Manager, Turkish Airlines, Murat Balandi, Ireland Manager, Turkish Airlines, Captain Niall Cummins, Chief Flight Examiner, Irish Aviation Authority, Captain John Murray, IAA, Kevin Swords, IAA Aeronautical Officer and Jerry Moloney, Director South, South East and Midlands, Enterprise Ireland.

Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA), an Enterprise Ireland supported company, will recruit 10 new highly skilled Instructor Pilots, and additional ground support staff, as a direct result of the new commercial agreement with Turkish Airlines. AFTA has been initially contracted to train 20 Cadet Pilots annually and the first group of Turkish trainee pilots have recently commenced training at AFTA’s base at Cork airport.

Mark Casey, CEO Atlantic Flight Training Academy and Head of Pilot Training, said: “Since our foundation in 1995, AFTA have trained over 1,800 high-calibre graduate pilots for global airlines, in our modern fleet of Cessna and Piper aircraft, as well as, investing in the latest flight training equipment, including state-of-the-art Boeing 737 NG and FNPT II fixed base simulators. We are delighted that our commitment to advanced cadet training and safety, has been recognised by Turkish airlines through signing this commercial agreement, and we look forward to helping these cadets progress and build their future careers with Turkish Airlines.

Mr. Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, commented: - “Turkish Airlines have been operating flights from Dublin for a number of years and have become one of the world’s leading airlines, with a fleet of almost 300 aircraft. I am delighted that they have chosen the Atlantic Flight Training Academy to be one of their training providers.

The academy has built up an international reputation in recent years as providers of highly qualified and trained pilots for a range of global airlines. The addition of Turkish Airlines to the list of its airline customers is a very significant milestone for the Academy, and for Ireland. I congratulate them on this success and wish them continued success into the future.”

Murat Balandi, General Manager, Turkish Airlines Ireland, said: “Turkish Airlines will celebrate ten years in Ireland in 2016, and we are delighted that an Irish company has been chosen to train 20 of our new cadet pilots this year. Our pilots are trained to the highest standards available in the industry for our fleet of 299 passenger and cargo aircraft which fly to 280 destinations worldwide with 232 international and 48 domestic. It is really beneficial for us to see the cadets in their training ground at AFTA in Cork and we look forward to see them in the air as Turkish Airlines pilots over the years to come”.


Notes for editors:

About Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA)

Atlantic Flight Training Academy, founded in 1995, is Ireland’s largest – and one of Europe’s leading – Independent Flight Training Organisations. The Academy, regulated by the Irish Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is based in Cork International Airport, which is renowned as Europe’s number one training airport with every conceivable flight training aid available and challenging weather conditions which develops and enhances trainee pilot skills.

The Academy has been training international cadets for many years with more recent contracts including Air Astana, Kazakhstan and the Libyan Ministry of Transport. Equipped with a modern training fleet of Cessna’s and Pipers, AFTA also boasts state-of-the-art B737 NG and FNPT II fixed base simulators.

AFTA has an unrivalled success rate and have trained in excess of 1,800 high-calibre pilot graduates for global airlines. Our placement record is strong and we have graduates now working in some of the world’s leading airlines including RyanairStobart AirAir Astana, Easy JetVirgin AtlanticFlyBeJet2British AirwaysEmiratesEtihadCathay Pacific, Qatar, Turkish Airlines and Aer Lingus.