January 25, 2009

Japan Airlines suspends pilot training

Japan Airlines, JAL, has temporarily suspended parts of its pilot training programs to save costs and boost profitability, airline officials say.

The affected programs include one in which trainee pilots accompany experienced counterparts in cockpits aboard actual commercial JAL flights to familiarize themselves with regular air routes, the Japanese news service Kyodo reported Sunday.

Also suspended was a training program designed to allow pilots to gain promotions to the rank of chief or deputy chief pilots, as well as a program to foster familiarization with newly introduced aircraft models, JAL officials said.

An airline official told Kyodo the training suspensions, which will last until the end of March, are provisional steps to improve our profitability, so we will continue to provide the training necessary to enable pilots to maintain their maneuvering skills and pertaining to the safety of our flights.