Starting pilot cadet program with BAA Training


BAA Training has recently started the cadet program for SmartLynx Airlines, therefore, we would like to give an opportunity for you to get to know the company better. The CEO of the company, Zygimantas Surintas, shares ideas about the future plans and company's growth.

Smartlynx Airlines is a European charter and the largest ACMI (Aircraft-Crew-Maintenance-Insurance) operator on Airbus A320 aircraft based in Riga, Latvia with the Estonian subsidiary. It counts 25th anniversary of successful operations this year.

  • Fleet in 2017: 13 Airbus A320 and one Airbus A321 aircraft.
  • Competences: Short and long term wet lease as well as full charter operations.
  • Bases in 12 countries with far more destinations.
  • ATO license on Airbus A320 aircraft. In-house type rating training by an experienced team of training captains and instructors.
  • Flights in 2016: 13,297
  • Passengers carried in 2016: 1.9 million

ACMI service

ACMI (Aircraft-Crew-Maintenance-Insurance) service provided by SmartLynx Airlines means that the company provides an aircraft, a complete crew, all the maintenance for the aircraft and insurance to its customer airline.
Currently SmartLynx Airlines works with Jetstar Pacific, easyJet, Norwegian, Travel Service, Tui Group, Vietjet Air, Blue Air, Monarch, Aigle Azur, Thomas Cook Airlines and others.

Expansion plans

The company is planning to continue implementing its development strategy both by enlarging the fleet and launching new flight routes, as well as commencing collaboration with new partners in the field of ACMI across the world.

“Our target directions are especially Asia and Middle East, Africa and Canada since these directions can ensure the reduction of seasonality in our business. Of course, we will also continue collaborating with leading tour operators in Estonia and Latvia, ensuring an extensive range of flights in the leisure market segment to the residents of the Baltic region. We will also keep offering full-service charter flights to other tour operators worldwide” comments Zygimantas Surintas.

A geographical expansion and new destinations mean that the company is about to acquire additional aircraft to enlarge its current fleet by 1-2 aircraft each year.

The CEO of SmartLynx notes that “in 2017 the company's fleet consists of 13 Airbus A320 and one Airbus 321 aircraft, while in 2018 the fleet is planned to be further expanded reaching a total of 18 aircraft.”
In connection to the expansion of the fleet, SmartLynx expects to need to recruit a considerable amount of additional flight crew and cabin crew over the coming few years.

SmartLynx Cadets

Aviation industry itself is on the wave and pilot cadet programs with airlines become quite a common thing. SmartLynx also has decided to work with a young generation of future pilots that will join their team in the future.

“In recent years we have been confronted with the shortage of pilots in aviation industry. That is the reason why we have signed a partnership contract with BAA Training. All successful graduates assessed by SmartLynx will be offered an opportunity to undertake the type rating courses for Airbus A320 series by SmartLynx and, if completed successfully, a job at Smartlynx Airlines.” Explains Z. Surintas.

People. Qualities the SmartLynx look for

The company mainly focuses on professional qualities, experience and compliance with requirements of aviation industry. Also personal qualities are of great importance. The CEO notes that an elaborate specific profile used in the selection process helps airlines to find potential pilots.

People. The diversity of SmartLynx crew

The company‘s crew is very diverse with employees from 17 different countries which creates an international atmosphere and allows to meet interesting people. SmartLynx crew speaks multiple languages, it is possible to come across Latvian, English, Russian, Finnish, Estonian, French, Spanish, Italian, Rumanian, Portuguese, Czech and German speakers within the crew.

As Z. Surintas said at the end of the interview, “people are extremely important since they are the main asset of our company. Their engagement and positive attitude are the core strengths and values which ensure SmartLynx operation and development.”

Source of the text and coverphoto - BAA Training:

Find out more about SmartLynx Cadet Program at BAA Training web site:

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