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All About Aviation Insiders Interview: Egnatia Aviation

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All About Aviation Insiders Interview: Egnatia Aviation
June 19
17:07 2015

Egnatia Aviation is a flight training school based in Kavala, Greece. The company maintains an excellent reputation in graduating some of the best pilots in the industry, hailing from all over Europe.  It’s a fact that the company’s sales and marketing manager George Triantafyllidis is excited to be a part of. His studied physics at Aristotle University and worked in the renewable energy sector before switching gears to his current role in the Greek aviation industry.  At Egnatia Aviation, he coordinates daily contact and coordination with people who are passionate about aviation from all over the world.

“Aviation is an exciting world. Today’s high demand for excellent pilots has definitely made my daily life more challenging,” he told All About Aviation.gr.

Triantafyllidis says he meets with airline companies and civil aviation authorities from across five continents.   The aviation leader sat down with All About Aviation.gr to give us his view on the inner-workings of a successful flight training school and the challenges in recruiting flight students to study in Greece.

All About Aviation.gr: What makes Greece an ideal place to have a flight training school? 

Greece’s sunny Mediterranean weather is a great advantage because it enables us to deliver consistent training all year. Another advantage is Greece’s geographic location. Greece is located near many international airports and that is important for training purposes. Other advantage is that there is a lower cost of living and industry fees when compared to other countries.

All About Aviation.gr: Which countries do most of your students come from? 

To date, Egnatia Aviation has trained over 850 commercial pilots from 54 countries.

Most of our students come from the Middle East, and this is due to our cooperation in training pilots for Qatar Airways and Air Arabia. Furthermore, the continuous interest of more Middle Eastern students to obtain an EASA European license leads them to Egnatia Aviation which provides airline pilot training according to European standards.

Additionally, a number or students from all over Europe choose Egnatia Aviation for their training needs.

All About Aviation.gr: What are some of the challenges that you face recruiting students from abroad, and is the issuing of student visas one of them? 

Some of the students from third countries want to start their flight training as soon as possible. One issue for them is the time required for their visa issuance (type-D). Besides a visa, they also must obtain a Greek residence permit and that makes the waiting time quite long.

Furthermore, I think it needs to be mentioned that less bureaucracy and better communication with the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority would improve our services and increase the overall efficiency.

All About Aviation.gr: In your opinion what makes an ideal flight school? 

An ideal flight school should be in an excellent location, employ experienced instructors, provide all-inclusive packages and maintain a modern fleet and facilities. An ideal flight school should earn international recognition and partnerships. It should provide an EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) license which is the preferred pilot’s license by all global major airlines. Apart from the knowledge and skills a flight school provides, it should teach the airline mentality and professional character for students to graduate and become a successfully trained pilot.

All the aforementioned criteria are of great importance to Egnatia Aviation Approved Training Organization.  This aspect of our training ensures that the student gets the best training possible, under the most favorable conditions.  This commitment produces airline pilots that any airline would be proud to employ and have as a part of their team.

All About Aviation.gr: What goals does Egnatia Aviation have for the next five years? 

Egnatia Aviation is aiming to further develop the training organization and expanding its activities by:

-Cooperating with airline companies by training pilots according to their standards.

-Expanding the training it offers in other airline fields such as aircraft engineers, cabin crew and sea planes.

-Establishing Egnatia Aviation Maintenance Organization as a European aircraft maintenance center supported by the manufacturer.

-Establishing an airline company for commercial purposes (passengers and cargo).

All About Aviation.gr: Do you believe flight training can contribute to the Greek economy and in what way? Is there a potential that Greece is missing out on? 

I strongly believe that flight training could be one of the leading economy sectors to boost up the Greek economy to help the country surpass the difficult situation. According to European student share, Greece should be training over 2,000 pilots per year. However, for the time being, they are limited in total 200. If one counts that a pilot would spend an average of €80,000 for his time and training, it is easily calculated that the annual gain could reach the amount of €160,000,000.

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