Leading European pilot training provider FlyBy has seen their revenues, flight hours and the number of exams sat by students surge in 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the pilot training industry.

Compared to 2019, FlyBy’s revenues have grown by 44% over the past 12 months, whilst flight hours have increased 84% year-on-year, even with FlyBy’s fleet having been grounded for three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

FlyBy has also recorded a 50% growth in the number of ATPL exams being sat over the last year, whilst maintaining a 90% pass rate.

The major increase in FlyBy’s revenues, flying hours and exam sittings follow an ambitious infrastructure investment programme undertaken by the school throughout 2020.

Over the course of the last twelve months the platform purchased seven new trainer aircraft (four PS28 Cruisers, a P2006T, a Super Decathlon and a Metroliner) and two new simulators (an Entrol Airbus A320 simulator with PBN and MCC certification and a P2006T SoftekSim), taking the total fleet to twenty aircraft and three simulators.

In September FlyBy also launched their second training base in Soria, northern Spain, to help accommodate an influx of new students from who been released from another flight school in Portugal. The Soria base accommodates up to sixty students for flying.

FlyBy’s 2020 growth figures mark the latest chapter in the platform’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 230 cadets and 61 staff from 55 countries around the world, including from as far afield as Tanzania and Brunei.

Since being taken over in 2015, FlyBy’s revenue has increased an average of 65% year-on-year; FlyBy is now operating the second highest number of flying hours of any pilot training school in Spain.

FlyBy is aiming for 30% growth in number of ATPL exams sat, 48% growth in flight hours and 30% growth in revenue in 2021. FlyBy will also be investing a further €1m into purchasing new aircraft, modernising their existing fleet and building new aircraft hangars in 2021.

Alex Alvarez, CEO of FlyBy, said:

“Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted the pilot training and wider aviation industries, but we remain extremely optimistic about the medium-long term health of the sector. These figures reflect not only the impact of our continued investment and the hard work of all our staff and cadets, but an underlying confidence and belief the market and its ability to recover.”