Avianca Holdings S.A. and CAE announced today that they have signed an agreement to create a joint venture specializing in the provision of training services, including full-flight simulator training for commercial aviation pilots in Colombia. In addition, as part of a 15-year exclusive training agreement, Avianca will conduct all its pilot training at the Avianca-CAE joint venture. The equally-owned joint venture will also offer training in Colombia to airlines in the region. The creation of this joint venture was approved in May by Colombia’s Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC).

The Avianca-CAE Flight Training joint venture will provide Airbus A320, A330, ATR and Boeing 787 training in Bogota on seven full-flight simulators (FFS), offering the highest level of fidelity. Four simulators are already in operation and the joint venture will be deploying three additional CAE-built simulators. The Avianca-CAE initial investment for this joint venture will be approximately US$70 million, shared equally.

“With this company, training of Avianca’s pilots will be carried out locally, which implies that they will not have to travel to other countries to acquire this service, improving their quality of life and optimizing training times,” said Hernan Rincon, CEO of Avianca. “This new joint venture will significantly increase the number of flight simulators available in Latin America, benefiting not only Avianca but all airlines operating in the region. Also, this company together with other projects such as the MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center) in Medellin and the CEO (Operational Excellency Center) in Bogota, will allow Avianca to stay on track in positioning Colombia as a center for specialized aviation services with leading-edge technology, and will make Avianca the greatest generator of currency for the region.”

“We are honored to join forces with Avianca to become its Training Partner of Choice and to provide best-in-class training to other airlines in Colombia and the region,” said Marc Parent, President and CEO of CAE. “CAE is dedicated to offering customers in the growing Latin American market the most innovative training solutions to achieve the highest levels of safety and efficiency."

Subject to regulatory approvals, the joint venture is expected to start operations in late summer 2018.