Alteon Closing Four Training Centers, Opening One

 - August 22, 2007, 11:38 AM

An extensive “restructuring” of Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary will see the company close four training centers, redistribute assets to other centers and open a new facility in Shanghai to house the first Boeing 787 simulator in China. The facilities marked for closure include Long Beach, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Kunming, China and Luton, UK. Boeing expects to close the two U.S. centers and the Chinese facility in December. Plans call for Luton to close next June.

The consolidation in effect shifts training capacity from Long Beach to Miami and Seattle, while equipment from London Luton moves to Gatwick and Manchester in the UK. From Long Beach, a 717-200 simulator–used primarily by Hawaiian Airlines–will go to Seattle, and a 737-700/800 simulator will go to Miami. The company plans to retire the Long Beach-based 737-200 and MD-88 machines, along with all three 737 Classic simulators based in Dallas. Alteon said it will move the MD-11 simulator at Long Beach to an undisclosed customer location.

Meanwhile, Alteon plans to move the 757-200 simulator now in Luton to Manchester and the Luton-based 737-700/800 machine to London Gatwick. It has entered discussions with potential buyers for the pair 737-300 sims at Luton.

Boeing has scheduled the new Shanghai center, which it will operate in partnership with Shanghai Airlines, to open in November with the 757/767 simulator now used in Kunming. It expects to introduce full flight and maintenance training services with a 787 sim during the first half of next year.

Alteon vice president of marketing Marsha Bell told AIN that the moves in no way signal an interruption in the company’s growth plans, rather a more rational use of resources based on customer preference. “All of the customers are being contacted and advised and most of them have participated in driving the choice of locations of the simulators,” said Bell.