Two of the most prominent types of companies within the aviation industry which help breed and create pilots of exceptional standards are the airlines and flight training schools. However, there are many companies out there which offer bespoke services to pilots such as airline interview preparation and refresher courses. One of them is Aviation Insider, and I had the chance to speak with them.
Aviation Insider is an airline simulator and training specialist, and provides a wide variety of services and products to those who have just thought about becoming a pilot, all the way to those looking to gain command on the flight deck and sit in the left hand seat. I was particularly interested in this company myself as I’m a student pilot, but also as to how it was faring during the pandemic.
Before speaking to them, I scrolled through the website – ATPL Question Banks, ATO comparisons, groundschool refresher courses. Plenty of material for the student pilot, as well as those thinking of becoming a pilot with information on finance and where to begin. For current pilots with an ATPL license, Aviation Insider offers type ratings for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, as well as license renewals. The services that I have mentioned are just a small amount of the products and services provided, so there really is something for every pilot that is looking to work for the airlines or just looking to freshen up any skills. I was impressed at what I was seeing.
The year of 2020 has been devoured by the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to many pilot redundancies across the globe from multiple airlines. Within the UK, we have seen redundancies at many of the leading airlines, including the retirement of the Boeing 747 from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Flybe also collapsed because of the reduced travel around the country – despite being rescued a few months before.
Upon the setbacks by the virus, my immediate thought was companies like Aviation Insider – particularly for their online material – would thrive and gain a lot of sales for their products and services, as pilots would be looking to keep their minds in the right place. So, I was surprised to hear that Aviation Insider’s online sales had fallen during the lockdown period, but I had forgotten one key detail.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom introduced extensions to many of the licenses. This put many at ease regarding the pandemic, especially if the expiration dates were in a period which was not suitable to renew or revalidate licenses. This therefore impacted companies such as Aviation Insider, as their services and products were not really needed.
However, the aviation industry is slowly rebuilding its pieces again. Training schools have reopened, air bridges between the UK and other countries have been introduced. While it will take a few years for the industry to return to its rightful glory, companies specialising in specialist areas in the industry will see their enquiries and services pick up again – especially when recruitment begins once again.
In my mind, I have no doubt Aviation Insider will continue to succeed and build, and I strongly urge anyone looking to become a pilot, or already a pilot, to take a look at their website – they even offer a free logbook when creating an account. One last important thing to mention is that Aviation Insider is now approved by the DWP, and support is available for those that are made redundant. Check it out!
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