Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) has increased the number of pilots it is able to train to keep up with demand from airlines owned by Lufthansa Group. It is now turning out about 500 pilots a year, up from 300 a few years ago. That is what is needed to replace the annual attrition among the Lufthansa Group’s roughly 10,500 pilots.
“We’re recruiting fully, we’re expanding,” said Ola Hansson, CEO of Lufthansa Aviation Training. Given demand with its affiliated airlines, LAT has decreased training space for unaffiliated airlines. To go beyond capacity for 550 or 600 pilots would mean expanding facilities, Hansson said.
To increase training capabilities, “We’re looking heavily into digitalization,” he said. LAT already uses virtual reality to train flight attendants how to sweep an aircraft’s interior for foreign objects. Before that, they practiced on airplanes down for maintenance, often in the middle of the night. “The flight attendants had to go at 1 a.m. to do the checks—and that was not popular,” Hansson said.