Cebu Pacific now accepts applications for pilots

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A Cebu Pacific Airbus A330
Photo: Laurent Errera from L’Union, France (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Cebu Pacific)

MANILA — The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific is now accepting applications for the second batch of cadet-pilots.

CEB will be recruiting 16 candidates to join its corps of pilots, after completing a 56-week training program, including 52 weeks at Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia, in a “study now, pay later” scheme.

The Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program is a 56-week program that recruits candidates from ab initio, and puts them on a 56-week integrated flying training; flight theory and education course to become licensed Commercial Pilots.

After completion of the program, the cadet-pilots become First Officers at CEB, and join the corps of aviators at Cebu Pacific, flying domestic and international routes.

The program is open to all Filipinos who are college graduates, proficient in English and hold passports valid for at least two years prior to the start of the program. (Full Story Here)

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Qantas to establish pilot academy

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The academy will initially train around 100 pilots a year.
Photo: Qantas

(From Qantas)

SYDNEY — Qantas will establish a pilot academy capable of training up to 500 pilots a year, to help meet the increasing need for skilled aviators in one of the fastest growing global industries.

The Qantas Group Pilot Academy is expected to open its doors to students during 2019 and is likely to be established near an existing airfield in regional Australia to provide easy access to uncongested airspace.

It will represent an initial investment of up to $20 million to establish the new facility.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the academy would become a critical part of the national carrier’s long term talent pipeline – and an important resource for Australian aviation.

“Qantas has a proud history of having some of the best pilots in the world and we want to make sure it stays that way. By creating our own academy, we can train the next generation of pilots to the Qantas Group standard,” Joyce said. (Full Story Here)

A proposal of a lifetime

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British Airways helps a Royal Navy hero pull off the proposal of a lifetime.
Photo: British Airways

(From the British Airways)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner British Airways helped a Royal Navy hero pull off the proposal of a lifetime. Lieutenant Lee Colthart popped the question to his girlfriend, Lydia Ayto, in the Caribbean.

The 29-year-old Navy officer wrote in to the airline to share his story and said he wanted to propose to his girlfriend of seven years in the Caribbean after he was deployed there last year to help with the relief effort following Hurricane Irma.

Lee, who is originally from Fife in Scotland, said he was desperate to take his girlfriend, who is a navigator in the Navy, back to paradise to ask her to be his wife.

The airline stepped in to help surprise Lydia with a whirlwind tour of three beautiful islands, and a cocktail of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, ending with a very special question for Lydia to answer. (Full Story Here)

Singapore passport is now the world’s ‘most powerful’

(By RACHEL MUI, The Business Times)

SINGAPORE — With Paraguay removing its visa requirements for Singaporeans, Singapore now has a visa-free score of 159, making it the most powerful passport worldwide according to the Passport Index.

The index, developed by global advisory for residence and citizenship solutions, Arton Capital, ranks passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a “visa-free score” according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free, or with visa on arrival.

Historically, the Top 10 most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany in the lead for the past two years.

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Singaporean passport
Photo: Noble (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Since April 2017, Germany has shared the number one position with Singapore, which has been steadily moving up the ranks. Other Asian passports in the Top 20 include South Korea’s in third place, Japan’s in fourth and Malaysia’s in sixth position with a score of 154.

“For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world,” said managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office, Philippe May.

This is a “testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy”, he added. (Full Story Here)

Automated screening lanes launched at Miami International Airport

(By American Airlines)

MIAMI — American Airlines, in coordination with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Miami-Dade Aviation Department, has launched two automated security screening lanes in Terminal D at Miami International Airport (MIA).

These new automated screening lanes, funded by American, incorporate technology and screening station modifications that enhance security effectiveness while decreasing the time travelers spend in security screening.

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American Airlines
Photo: Peter Bakema (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

The advanced equipment in the automated lanes offers a number of unique features designed to improve the screening of travelers by automating many of the functions currently conducted manually, allowing passengers to move more swiftly through the checkpoint. These innovations include:

—Automated belts that draw bags into the X-ray machines, returning the bins back to queue after completion of the screening

—Bags with a potential threat can be directed to a separate area to allow bins behind it to continue through the system uninterrupted

—Property bins that are 25 percent larger than the bins in regular screening lanes

—Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that are attached to each bin to allow for additional accountability of items as they transit throughout the system

—Cameras that capture photos of the outside of the bag, which is linked to the X-ray image of the bag’s contents

“We are proud to be working collaboratively with the TSA and Miami-Dade Aviation Department to launch next-generation screening technology in Miami,” said Ralph Lopez, American Airlines vice president — Miami.

“These state-of-the-art lanes enhance security effectiveness and efficiency and will improve the customer experience for many of the 29 million American customers who visit MIA each year,” he added. (Full Story Here)

Delta to hire at least 1,000 flight attendants

(By Ashton Morrow, Delta Air Lines)

Chosen from among thousands of applicants, Delta Air Lines flight attendants are recognized as the best in the business. And with more than 1,000 open positions for 2018, Delta is seeking dedicated, service-oriented professionals who love to be on-the-go, help others and enjoy variety in their work.

Last year 150,000 applicants applied for roughly 1,200 coveted flight attendant jobs at Delta. After reviewing 35,000 video interviews and conducting 6,000 in-person interviews, fewer than 1 percent of applicants were selected – based on those odds, it’s easier to get into an Ivy League school than to become a Delta flight attendant.

“Earning and wearing the wings of Delta is something our flight attendants are proud of and passionate about, as they should be,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service.

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Delta Air Lines
Photo: Delta Air Lines

“After making it through the highly competitive and exhaustive selection process, they put all their previous experience and skills to the test during our flight attendant initial training,” Ausband said.

“There’s no doubt we hire the best of the best because the caliber of people wanting to work for our great airline is top-notch. They see that what makes Delta different is our people and the unique culture we share together, and they want to be part of that winning team,” Ausband added.

To give top talent a better understanding of just what it takes to join the best in the business, Delta is launching the ‘Earning our Wings’ mini-series.

A new episode will post each Monday and Thursday to YouTube and the Delta News Hub for the next 10 weeks, chronicling the journey of five new hires as they make their way through the eight-week training program each new flight attendant must complete at Delta’s Atlanta headquarters. (Full Story Here)

Delta, Air France join forces vs. breast cancer

(By Emma Kate Protis, Delta Air Lines)

Breast cancer survivors, family and friends affected by the disease rallied together to raise awareness on an Air France flight from Paris to Atlanta Monday evening.

Two years ago, Air France employees passionate about the cause formed Les Hotesses De L’Air Contre Le Cancer, or flight attendants against cancer, to raise support for Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in France and worldwide.

Flight 688 was operated by crew and survivors affected by the disease and was the first international Air France flight to raise money for BCRF.

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Delta’s breast cancer plane
Photo: Delta Air Lines

Flight attendant Astrid Aulong-Beaumont started the Air France campaign after losing a dear friend to breast cancer, saying her inspiration came from watching Delta support BCRF for 12 years.

Delta has raised over $13 million for breast cancer research since 2005 and operates “pink” flights annually during October. She envisions their grassroots movement growing to the same scale internationally.

“When our partners join Delta in carrying us closer to a cure, it maximizes awareness,” said Tracy Foster, Manager – In-Flight Service for Delta.

While breast cancer research garners much attention in the United States, it’s a topic scarcely promoted in France.

“I just kept thinking – if there is one of us, there must be more,” said Ruiz Pierre, an Air France flight attendant, who joined Les Hotesses De L’air during her three-year battle with breast cancer. (Full Story Here)

Positive outlook helps flight attendant fight breast cancer

(By American Airlines)

“Keep looking forward and keep moving forward” is the motto Chicago O’Hare (ORD)-based flight attendant Debby Simpson lives by. The three-time cancer survivor believes keeping a positive outlook has helped in her fight against the disease.

“I look to other people living with cancer and cancer survivors for inspiration,” Debby said. “They give me the motivation to live the best life I can, enjoy every moment and to be positive and strong.”

“In December 2000, I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer,” Debby said. “I found a small lump. All the tests up until what they call a simple lumpectomy were negative for cancer. I wasn’t even expecting to be diagnosed. But when the tumor came out, it tested positive for cancer.”

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The pink ribbon is a symbol to show support for breast cancer awareness
Photo by MesserWoland (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Debby underwent chemotherapy and radiation and returned to work about 15 months later, but she wasn’t in the clear.

“In December 2003, I was diagnosed again. I was on an airplane to London, having some back issues, and I knew something was wrong,” she said. “I went to my chiropractor and he suggested I go to my oncologist, and I thought ‘what?’ So I went to my oncologist, he took a PET scan and my cancer had come back.”

This time, the cancer returned in Debby’s bones, brain, liver and lung. “It was a pretty daunting diagnosis at that time,” she said.

Once again, the American Airlines flight attendant underwent cancer treatment. It took Debby about six years before she was back to flying full-time.

“I finally did come back to work and back to flying. I’m very happy flying,” she said. “I love being a flight attendant. I love the job,” Debby said. “Of course, my seniority over the years has gotten better, so I’ve been able to rearrange my schedule so I can travel, be with family, be with friends; and I love taking care of our customers on the airplane. I’m excited about all the new aircraft we have and the new destinations coming up.”

While on a layover in Paris in 2014, Debby suffered another health setback. “I had a cardiac arrest,” she said. “I went out to get coffee and never came back to the hotel.”

A passing stranger found Debby in the street and called out for someone to perform CPR. Debby was rushed to the hospital and spent two weeks in Paris before coming home with a defibrillator. (Full Story Here)