Lufthansa Uses Pandemic To Streamline Pilot Training Offering

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Lufthansa has used the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to reorganize its pilot training scheme. The German flag carrier will continue training pilots from scratch. However, a new ‘campus model’ will be followed by prospective pilots.

Lufthansa, Pilot Training, Reorganized
Lufthansa is using the drop in demand for new pilots to reorganize its training program. Photo: Patrick Kuschfeld – Lufthansa

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved devastating for much of the pilot community. Just at the Lufthansa level, the airline had a surplus of 1,100 pilots back in November. Thankfully, many of these jobs were secured through cost-cutting measures agreed with the pilots union that lasts until the end of March 2022. This means pilots will work fewer hours and not receive collective pay increases.

Rejigging its pilot training scheme

Today Lufthansa revealed that it would be streamlining its pilot training program with what it calls its ‘ReNew’ framework. The German flag carrier will develop its Bremen pilot training site as a center of excellence of theoretical training modules while maintaining the highest training standards.

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Lufthansa pointed out that pilot training has been severely affected by the current pandemic, pointing out that the need to recruit new pilots has decreased. After all, the airline isn’t fully utilizing its existing pilot base. It would make sense not to want more when already faced with a surplus.

Lufthansa, Pilot Training, Reorganized
The airline will continue to train pilots from scratch, including theoretical knowledge. Photo: Daniel Hager – Lufthansa

What is ‘campus training’?

Lufthansa revealed that it is looking to move to a campus training model when it comes to training tomorrow’s pilots. The German flag carrier said such a course of training was comparable to a university degree. Indeed, the airline’s program meets the qualification and training standards of an internationally recognized degree. Theoretical parts of the course would be delivered in Bremen. Meanwhile, practical flight training would take place at Rostock-Laage.

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Pilots on the Lufthansa training program were typically hired by the airline at the end of the course. After the course, the airline maintains that graduates will be recruited by the Lufthansa Group’s airlines depended on the demand at the time of hiring.

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Last year the airline’s training department gave students the option of ending their training without cost or transferring to another flight school given the perceived lack of hiring opportunities. According to the program’s website, new applicants are not currently being accepted for pilot training courses.

Lufthansa, Pilot Training, Reorganized
Lufthansa still wants pilots to end up with it later, despite the current lack of demand. Photo: Oliver Roesler – Lufthansa

Commenting on the refreshed approach to pilot training, Lufthansa Group COO Detlef Kayser said the following in a press release seen by Simple Flying:

“During the greatest crisis in global aviation, we have to put everything at the Lufthansa Group to the test, including our long-standing training concept for our pilots… The development of the new campus model is a prime example of how we are modernizing Lufthansa via our corporate program ‘ReNew’, by streamlining and improving structures to make them more efficient.”

What do you make of Lufthansa’s refreshed approach to pilot training in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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