Leading European pilot training provider welcomes 30 new cadets previously released from a British flight school in Portugal; revenues up 35% despite impact of COVID-19
Leading European flight school FlyBy has formally opened its second pilot training base in Northern Spain to help cater for a significant upsurge in new cadets – including thirty new students who have joined having been released by a British flight school in Portugal midway through their course.
The two-runway (1.4km and 500m) flight training base acquired by FlyBy is located in Soria, approximately one hour from FlyBy’s main headquarters at Burgos Airport, and initially will exclusively accommodate the thirty new students. The students had completed ground school at the British flight school in Portugal but were released in May this year.
The new Soria facility offers fair weather, uncongested airspace and airport facilities, and will be further upgraded in the coming months to be able to accommodate up to sixty students, including with ground school and simulator capabilities.
The acquisition of the Soria facility marks the latest chapter in FlyBy’s remarkable turnaround and growth story. Five years ago, the school was facing bankruptcy with just ten cadets and nine staff; today, the school accommodates 220 cadets and 55 staff from 55 countries around the world, including from as far afield as Tanzania and Brunei. A further batch of 26 students are set to join the school in November.
Since being taken over in 2015, FlyBy’s revenue has increased an average of 65% year-on-year – with year to date sales growth of 35% despite the considerable impact of COVID-19 on the pilot training sector. FlyBy is now operating the second highest number of flying hours of any pilot training school in Spain.
FlyBy has also undertaken an ambitious infrastructure acquisition and upgrade programme in recent years. This year alone the platform has purchased six new trainer aircraft (four PS28 Cruisers, a P2006T and a Super Decathlon) and an Entrol Airbus A320 simulator with PBN and MCC certification, taking the total fleet to nineteen aircraft and two simulators. In September FlyBy will also be launching their Part 147 training with the procurement of a new Metroliner.
FlyBy’s investment into the Soria base coincides with a wider regional economic development plan for the area, included proposed plans from local government to expand the airport on the site as a means of attracting increased economic investment and industry to the area.
Alex Alvarez, CEO of FlyBy, said:
“At FlyBy we look at the future with optimism, despite the current situation caused by the pandemic. We have no doubt that the aviation industry will bounce back, and we want to be fully prepared for it.
“Our investment plan has been strengthened for 2020 and 2021 with our facilities in Burgos being upgraded – including additional classrooms for our new Part 147 for Aircraft Maintenance Engineering training and a bigger fleet to continue supporting our growth.”