Vietnam will need about 1,500 to 2,000 pilots by 2020, according to the aviation industry’s development strategy by 2020, prompting an urgent need for training of this human resource.

In the context of economic difficulties of the economy and the pressure of the aviation sector’s growth, reducing expenses through training and recruiting Vietnamese pilots has been a strategic choice of domestic airlines.

The establishment of the Bay Viet (Vietnam Flight) Training Joint Stock Company in June 2008 was the first step of the project to build a pilot training centre for the Vietnamese aviation sector.

Shareholders of Bay Viet include the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, the Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, the Vietnam Helicopter Flight Company, the HIPT group and the ESMA Aviation Academy of France.

According to Nguyen Nam Lien, General Director of Bay Viet, his company was training 60 pilots for Vietnam Airlines and will also train pilots for other airlines and cooperate with the Vietnam Aviation Academy to conduct practical flight training.

The low-cost airline Jetstar Pacific Airlines (JPA), which employs only five Vietnamese pilots, is recruiting 20 Vietnamese aged from 20-35 to be sent to train at CTC Aviation Training Limited in New Zealand as part of plans to expand its fleet. The expense for each trainee will be about 150,000 USD.

JPA officials said that the airline will have nine Vietnamese pilots by the end of this year.

Statistics show that the aviation sector has to pay between 30-40 million USD to hire foreign pilots.

Vietnam Airlines employs 600 pilots with more than 200 being foreigners. Its Vietnamese pilots were trained abroad at a cost of about 120,000-150,000 USD per person./.