Air France prepares pilots to return to cockpit as operations resume

Air France has announced that as it prepares for the gradual resumption of operations, it has set up a major cockpit reintegration scheme for pilots who were unable to fly during the COVID-19 crisis, the company said.

The aim of this gradual return to the cockpit is to maintain the skills of its qualified pilots at the highest possible level.

With the gradual resumption of operations, which should reach around 15% of usual capacity by the end of June, the company is preparing to welcome customers back on board, while strictly respecting the current health & safety measures. Of the 4,000 Air France pilots, 2,300 will be at the controls of the aircraft currently in service. To date, 75 out of the 224 aircraft that make up the Air France fleet are currently operating.

Air France pilot training includes training in one of Air France´s 16 simulators for all pilots who have not flown recently, the provision of a training kit, specific training courses and personal support, supervised by one of the 470 instructors, throughout this transitional period. These simulator re-training sessions enable procedures to be reviewed in addition to the pilots´ personal review work – skills maintenance, checklists, specific network regulations, etc.

For even greater safety levels, Air France is raising its standards by introducing an additional 2.5 to 3.5 hour simulator session, in addition to the four mandatory annual sessions. The airline is increasing the number of landings and take-offs required over a 90-day period from three to five.