Rabat - Royal Air Maroc (RAM) denied, in a statement on Monday, the conclusions of a French television report that alleged the carrier hired unvetted foreigners to copilot flights through pay-to-fly training programs - an action that European officials said could jeopardize passenger safety due to the copilots’ lack of experience.
Rabat – Royal Air Maroc (RAM) denied, in a statement on Monday, the conclusions of a French television report that alleged the carrier hired unvetted foreigners to copilot flights through pay-to-fly training programs – an action that European officials said could jeopardize passenger safety due to the copilots’ lack of experience.
The airline said in a statement it “does not make any compromises” in regards to passenger safety and did not work with the Lithuanian office investigated in the report in order to offer paid training programs for entry-level pilots.
Moroccan and foreign hires for pilot positions go through additional training and a flight simulation test overseen by a flight manager with over 10,000 logged flight hours before they are allowed to fly, according to the statement.
“The training of foreign pilots by Royal Air Morocco is not commercial,” the airline added.
The office probed by Channel 3 runs in association with AviationCV – a jobs search engine for the airline industry that manages over 100,000 profiles of pilots, engineers, and other related professionals, according to the company’s official website.
The channel followed entry-level pilot, Julien Fournier, via hidden camera as he visited the Baltic Aviation Academy (BAA), a private flight school that operates in coordination with AviationCV. There he asked a training manager for information on available “pay-to-fly” programs that would allow him to log flight hours – necessary to land a job as a pilot for a commercial airline – by paying thousands of Euros to a carrier that would allow him to fly as a copilot without salary.
The manager who spoke to Fournier said one of the training programs available would allow him to log 500 flight hours as a copilot with RAM for a total of 62,500 euros. BAA already had three trainees working on RAM flights to and from Europe, she claimed, adding that the Moroccan carrier “does not conduct an entry evaluation for pilots paying for the program.”
“You pay and you start right away,” she told Fournier, who was taking notes in the scene.
RAM said it started hiring foreign pilots in 2002 for their flight experience and holds them to the same professional standards that are the policy of major European airlines.