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AFTA Announces Significant Milestone: 100 Recent Graduates Accepted into Ryanair

AFTA was the first flight school partner to work with Ryanair to train and recruit prospective cadets for a ‘Mentored Pilot Programme’, which provides a unique opportunity for aspiring pilots to be trained using Ryanair standard operating procedures (SOPs) and operational philosophy during their training. This programme gives the cadets unique access to endless career opportunities and a fast-tracked recruitment process with Ryanair on successful completion of flight training.

In the last 18 months 100 “AFTA” Graduates have successful passed final assessment with Ryanair, Europe’s No. 1 airline group, these “AFTA” graduates are now based across Ryanair’s 89 Bases throughout Europe and North Africa. All “AFTA” graduates completed a world class Type Rating and on-aircraft Base Training with Ryanair to qualify on the Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-8200 aircraft.

AFTA have a proven track record over the past 27 years having trained thousands of pilots who now enjoy key positions such as Training Captains, Fleet Captains, Captains and First Officers with some of the world’s leading airlines and have earned a reputation within the industry for training competent, confident, professional pilots. 

Supporting 100 graduates to secure employment in the past 18 months in the light of the pandemic demonstrates AFTA’s commitment to their graduates and Ryanair’s commitment and foresight to continue training the next generation of airline pilots to support the recovery in our industry. 

CEO and Head of Training at AFTA Captain Mark Casey commented:

I am delighted to see so many Ryanair Mentored Pilot graduates transitioning to the Boeing 737-800 and 8200 so seamlessly. The continuous support for the cadets from the Ryanair training department, the pilot recruitment team and management leadership throughout the programme has been tremendous. They have been assured and motivated throughout their training during the pandemic that they were correct to “stay the course” with their training. As the industry collapsed during 2020 and 2021, resilience and steadfastness were required to study and focus on the end goal of qualifying as a first officer with Ryanair. They have achieved their ambition and they are now on a career path with Europe’s largest airline group. Well done, we are very proud of each and every one of you.”

Ryanair’s Chief Pilot Captain Aidan Murray said:

“Since we restarted hiring for the Pilot Cadet Programme in 2021, we have seen the first Ryanair Mentored Cadets coming through the assessment and Type Rating courses and we are delighted to see that the standard from our Mentored Cadet schools has been extraordinary. We set the bar high in Ryanair and to see 100 AFTA graduates make the grade and join Ryanair in the past 12 months is in itself a testament to the training standards achieved by Captain Mark Casey and the AFTA team. We look forward to continue working with the AFTA team in the future.”

About AFTA:

Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA), founded in 1995, is Ireland’s largest and one of Europe’s leading Independent Flight Training Organisations. The Academy, approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is headquartered at Cork International Airport.

AFTA has been training international cadets for many years, with more recent contracts including, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines and Air Astana. We operate a fleet of modern training aircraft with cockpits equipped to the level of a commercial airliner. AFTA has invested in purchasing state-of-the-art Diamond DA42 Twin Star aircraft and Boeing 737 Next Generation simulators to support our training programmes. We have had an unrivalled success rate over the past 27 years in producing top quality pilots and placing them in the airlines. To date we have trained in excess of 2,300 high-calibre graduates as commercial pilots. Our success is measured by our graduates’ success in their aviation careers.

AFTA employs over 55 instructors and admin staff at our two bases in Cork and Waterford, where we operate a fleet of 22 aircraft including Diamond DA42 Twin Stars, Cessna 172 aircraft and four flight simulators. AFTA’s fleet of aircraft are maintained in-house as we have EASA Maintenance approval at both our maintenance facilities in both Cork and Waterford.