Pilot training: Air Transat and CAE launch Ascension Academy

Air Transat pilots stand in front of an Airbus aircraft.
From left to right: Stéphanie Léopold, Second-in-command, Sébastien Léopold, Captain, Charles-Antoine Léopold, Second-in-command © Archives/ MédiaQMI inc. (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)

Air Transat and CAE have announced the launch of Ascension Academy, a new cadet training program that enables the airline to build a pipeline of qualified pilots trained to the highest standards.

The program is set to recruit and train pilot candidates, in line with forecast demand for aircrews in upcoming years.

Proactive Approach to Training

Air Transat, a leading Canadian airline, and CAE, a global leader in aviation training, have come together to create the Ascension Academy.

This program offers a clear pathway for individuals aspiring to become professional pilots, opening doors to a fulfilling career in aviation.

Unlike traditional pilot training routes, Ascension Academy takes a proactive approach, setting the stage for the next generation of Air Transat pilots.

The Ascension Academy program begins at CAE’s renowned flight academy, where aspiring pilots embark on their journey to earn their wings.


What sets this initiative apart is the unique opportunity for graduates to kickstart their careers as second-in-command once they complete their type rating with Air Transat.

This distinctive feature ensures a smooth transition from training to real-world experience, setting a benchmark for the industry.

An Air Transat Airbus A321neo in flight.
Photo Credit: Air Transat

VP Marc Gilbert’s Vision

Marc Gilbert, Vice President, Flight Operations at Air Transat, emphasizes the significance of Ascension Academy. He states, “The Ascension Academy is a new program that will develop the next generation of Air Transat’s pilots.”

“This program will enable us to recruit and train pilots in advance of the increased demand anticipated over the next years.”

 One of the advantages of the Ascension Academy is that we will have a pipeline of pilots trained to our exacting standards with the specialized knowledge and skill to operate Air Transat’s fleet to destinations throughout our network.”

“Our strong company culture and positive employee experience will certainly attract many candidates.”

CAE’s Perspective

Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation, shares his enthusiasm for the new collaboration, saying,

“CAE forecasts a need for 63,000 new commercial pilots in North America over the next 10 years, and cadet programs like the Ascension Academy will be key to attracting the talent needed to keep the industry flying.”

“The Ascension Academy program will not only secure a steady pipeline of qualified pilots for Air Transat, but it will also set a clear pathway for those who aspire to an exciting career in the flight deck.”

An Air Transat Airbus about to land.
RHL Images from England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pathway to the Sky

Aspiring pilots who successfully navigate the rigorous interview process will secure their spot in the Ascension Academy program.

They will receive a conditional letter of employment from Air Transat for a second-in-command position. Upon the successful completion of their training and type rating, Ascension Academy graduates will assume the role of fully qualified Air Transat second-in-command pilots.

These new pilots will then operate state-of-the-art Airbus aircraft, crisscrossing the airline’s global network, including transborder and international transatlantic destinations from its hub airports in Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ).

The Ascension Academy provides a structured and supportive environment for cadets, ensuring they seamlessly transition from the classroom to the flight deck.

With a team of dedicated instructors and experienced pilots from CAE and Air Transat serving as mentors, cadets are in good hands every step of the way.

To learn more about the Ascension Academy program and to apply, please visit this link.

Click the banner to subscribe to our weekly newsleter.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
You Might Also Enjoy