Kazakhstan’s flag carrier airline Air Astana has revealed its new flight training centre at Astana International Airport in the country’s capital.

The centre, which is the first in Central Asia to be certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency, will be able to train pilots on the L3 Harris Reality Seven full-slight simulator for the first time in Kazakhstan.

Air Astana Group president Peter Foster said: “The opening of Air Astana’s new flight training centre demonstrates a strategic commitment to ensuring the very highest standards of flight personnel performance and also enhances the steady flow of new entrants into Kazakhstan’s air transport industry as it grows in the future.”

The company has also invested in Cabin Emergency Evacuation Trainer and Real Fire Fighting Trainer simulators, which are scheduled for launch by the end of the year and will enhance in-house training for both flight attendants and pilots.

Air Astana’s investment in the training centre marks an important step for the company, which previously had to send pilots abroad to complete their training and comes amid growing demand for pilots and flight attendants internationally.

Data released by Boeing earlier this year projected that 649,000 new pilots and 938,000 new cabin crew would be needed over the next two decades.

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Air Astana itself has a goal of hiring an additional 100 pilots and a similar number of flight attendants per year over the next five years and previously launched a Training Academy in Almaty in 2018.

Foster added: “I am confident that the new facility will not only prove to be a highly cost-effective resource for Air Astana but also result in Kazakhstan, becoming a regional leader in flight training.”