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Pan Am Aims to Support Booming Thai Airline Market

    リーダーの考え | LEADER’S VIEW   
Pan Am Aims to Support Booming
Thai Airline Market

Asia Pacific Plant Management Magazine APRIL – MAY 2016 Issue 99

The airline market in the Asia Pacific region has witnessed a significant growth in recent years and is not an exception for Thailand. According to the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI), air passenger traffic in Thailand increased by an annual average of 14.6% during 2009-2013 and Bangkok has become one of the top destinations in the world. The growth in demand for air transportation has opened up significant opportunities for airlines operating in the region. However, in order for the airline industry in the region to grow further, the industry needs to secure a sufficient number of quality pilots.

Pan Am International Flight Training Center (Thailand) (hereinafter Pan Am (Thailand)) was established in June 2014 with joint capital by All Nippon Airways (75%), Nok Air (15%) and Assumption University (10%). Since its operation in October same year, the company has served the pilot training needs of airlines in Thailand and other countries and has helped to meet the ever increasing demand for qualified pilots. Asia Pacific Plant Management was honored to have an exclusive interview with Yusuke Egashira, Manager, Sales and Administration of Pan Am (Thailand), where we discussed the aviation training industry in Southeast Asia and the company’s business.

Airline Industry in Southeast Asia

HThe airline industry in Southeast Asia is expected to grow further in the future. Egashira told us that Boeing estimates around 14,000 new airplanes to be delivered to Asia in the next 20 years. Especially, single-aisle airplanes such as Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 are said to account for 70% of such delivery. This is attributed to the significant economic growth in the region. Growing numbers of people are now able to fly and the service has also diversified such as the emergence of low cost carriers (LCCs). In order to respond to the growing demand for air transportation, airlines are purchasing an increasing number of airplanes and production rates of airplanes are also increasing. Egashira explained that for Boeing 737, its average monthly production was around 30 units in 2008 – 2009 and this figure is said to increase to around 52 units per month by 2018.

Aviation Training Industry in Southeast Asia

Although the number of airplanes can be increased with capital investment, the number of pilots who operate these airplanes cannot be increased as easily. According to Egashira, it generally takes around three years to develop copilots and around 10 years to develop captains. Egashira stressed that improvement in airplane safety standards as well as making the pilot training program more efficient and shorter have been challenges for the global airline industry. Aviation authorities and airlines in the world are well aware of these challenges and have strived to respond to them. Egashira sees that the shortage of pilots has already been apparent in Southeast Asian countries where airline market is growing rapidly.

Regarding infrastructure for the development of pilots, it can be classified into hardware (flight simulator) and software (pilot training instructor and technological knowledge). For hardware, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia currently hold flight simulators for single-aisle airplanes in Southeast Asia which includes the Pam Am (Thailand). Most of these flight simulators have been used by major airlines to satisfy their own pilot training demands. On the other hand, for small and medium sized airlines that are booming, they are not able to hold their own pilot training centers which entail investment of billions of yen. As such, most of the muse pilot training centers owned by major airlines when they are available. Egashira sees that the number of flight simulators currently available in the region is insufficient in responding to the growing demand for pilots. However, Egashira explained that the development of hardware infrastructure mostly depends on capital investment and believes that there will not be significant problems as long as economic growth in the region continues. On the other hand, development of software infrastructure is the challenge Southeast Asian countries face. Especially for pilot training instructors, they are required to be those who have at least more than 10-15 years of experience as a captain. For flight simulator, it will be delivered within 12 to 18 months after the order and can be fulfilled with capital investment as mentioned above. However, pilot training instructors cannot be fulfilled with capital investment Pam Am in Thailand.

One of the main reasons why Pan Am opened its Flight Training Center in Thailand is because the country is easy to access by nearby countries and the company regards Thailand as being in the best geographical locations for its business. In fact, Bangkok accommodates the highest number of flights service in Southeast Asia. Egashira explained that its customers who are airlines from Thailand and other Asian countries (currently Cambodia, China, Laos, Nepal, and Vietnam) can send their pilots for training at Pan Am with their own airplanes, which is free of charge.

As for business strategy, the strengths of Pan Am is the experience and technological knowledge fostered within ANA holding group including US’s Pan Am Academy, as well as utilization of human resources including pilot training instructors. However, as long as Pam Am (Thailand) is a Bangkok based Thai company, it aims to contribute to Thai market. For Pan Am to be influential in the Thai market in the long term, it will be important for the company to establish close relationships with the Thai aviation authority as it is involved in important matters including aviation regulation and licensing. Egashira stressed that the company would like to contribute to the improvement of aviation safety standards in Thailand.

In order to achieve this, the company aims to localize its operations. Since Pan Am (Thailand)’s establishment in June 2014, most key positions have been held by non-Thai staff especially American and Japanese. There is also no Thai management staff at present. Egashira told us that with the development of business, the company from now would like to place an effort for the development of local Thai staff, in the same time promote transferring of technological knowledge to them.

“Pan Am (Thailand), by offering pilot training service, would like to support booming Thai airline market together with airlines operating in Thailand”, expressed Egashira.




パンナム インターナショナル フライト トレーニング センター タイランド(Pan Am International Flight Training Center (Thailand); 以下パンナム タイランド)は、ANAホールディングス(75パーセント)、ノックエア(15パーセント)、及びアサンプション大学(10パーセント)の共同出資により、2014年6月に設立され、2014年10月より営業を開始しました。同社は、設立以来、タイ国外の航空会社のパイロットの訓練ニーズを満たしており、パイロット需要の増加に対応してきました。アジア パシフィック プラント マネージメント誌では、パンナム タイランド、営業・管理部の江頭雄介マネージャーにお話を伺い、東南アジアの航空訓練産業、及び同社の事業についてお聞きしました。(以下、江頭氏 談)



パイロット養成インフラについては、ハードウェア(フライト シュミレーター)とソフトウェア(訓練教官や訓練ノウハウ)に分類する事が出来ます。前者については、東南アジアでは、当社を含め、タイ、シンガポール、フィリピン、インドネシア、ベトナム、及びマレーシアが単通路機用のフライト シュミレーターを有しており、そのほとんどは大手エアラインが自身の訓練需要を満たす為に使用しています。一方、地域で成長著しい中小航空会社おいては、数十億円という大きな投資が発生する訓練センターを自前で保有することが出来ない為、そのほとんどが大手航空会社の訓練センターが空いている際に借りるという状況です。現状では、地域におけるフライト シュミレーター数は、パイロット需要の高まりに対応する為には不十分だと思います。ただ、ハードウェアー インフラの整備は、設備投資に大きく依存しており東南アジア諸国の経済成長が続く限りは大きな問題とはならないと考えています。一方、後者は、東南アジア諸国にとっての課題となっています。特に訓練教官はパイロットとして機長経験を積んだ方が対象となり、通常最低でも10〜15年以上のキャリアを積む必要があります。シミュレーター設備については、発注から12〜18ヶ月で納品となり、上述の通り設備投資により充足が可能ですが、訓練教官はそういう訳にはいきません。





パンナム タイランドは、パイロット訓練サービスの提供を通し、タイで事業を展開する航空会社と共に、成長著しいタイの航空市場を支えて行きたいと考えています。

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