After decades, Lufthansa abandons the traditional training site at Goodyear, Arizona. According to Matthias Spohr, managing director of Lufthansa Aviation Training, the training center will be transferred to United Aviate Academy, a subsidiary of United Airlines. The flight school of Lufthansa’s American partner will support part of the training of up to 300 German pilot candidates.
The move is part of the much controversial pilot training reconstruction the group decided on in the wake of the corona pandemic. Lufthansa has currently stopped training all pilot trainees due to a lack of demand, which is why many trainee trials are underway. In addition, she decided to move the part of the practical training that previously took place in Germany from Bremen to Rostock and use only propeller planes instead of small jets.
According to Spohr, the first new pilot course is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022. Unlike in the past, candidates will undergo one uniform training and no longer two different ones, depending on whether they are intended for the flagship brand Lufthansa or for other airlines in the United States. Group or outside of it. In doing so, they will acquire the so-called Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Then they still have to obtain the type rating for a certain type of airplane. There is no financial support for all of this in the new system yet. According to Spohr, however, discussions are expected to take place with Lufthansa Group airlines over possible stock exchanges.
At the start of the training, candidates do not receive a return guarantee, they must take the courses at their own risk. Lufthansa Aviation Training students should be given preference for jobs in the group, Spohr said. However, it is not predictable when there will be a need for new drivers again, at least for the main brand.
A stopover at Goodyear has been an integral part of training for decades. Half a year of theoretical training in Bremen was followed by approximately six months of flight training in Arizona. The location was chosen mainly because of the still good weather. Subsequently, the flight to Bremen was scheduled for another six months. In the future, students will only complete their theory in Bremen, then practice six months at United at Goodyear, then move to Rostock.