Rex Group to recommence pilot training for Chinese cadets

A Rex Airlines Boeing 737 climbs after takeoff.
Photo Credit: Rex Airlines

AAPAV, one of the two pilot academies of Australia’s Rex Group, has restarted training for Chinese cadets at its academy in Ballarat, Victoria, for the first time since COVID restrictions ended.

 AAPAV Managing Director, Chris Hine, said, “During COVID we continued the training of 56 Chinese cadets and successfully graduated them without a single one having caught COVID.”

“This restart is a ringing endorsement of the quality and professionalism of Rex’s pilot academy,” sated Hine.

The training programme will last 15 months and graduates will obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) with Multi Engine Instrument Rating (ME IR) and High Performance Aircraft Training (HPAT).

AAPAV has been accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) since 2009 and is currently authorized by CAAC to train up to 168 cadet pilots a year for Chinese airlines.

In total, 5 Civil Aviation authorities from Australia, Vietnam, Singapore, China and the Gulf States have approved Rex’s pilot academies.

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Rex’s own pilot shortage


The group’s decision to recommence training for Chinese pilots has drawn some comment, particularly in light of Rex’s recent struggle to find its own pilots to bolster flight crew capacity and prevent service disruptions.

Earlier this year, Rex Airlines was attributing network disruptions to the global shortage of trained pilots and engineers following the pandemic situation.

At the time Rex made reductions to its flight schedules “to match the need for aircraft, pilot and engineers to what is available” according to an article posted by The Guardian in June.

Ev Brown, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About Rex Group


Rex is Australia’s largest independent regional and domestic airline operating a fleet of 58 Saab 340 and 8 Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to 57 destinations throughout all states in Australia.

In addition to the airline Rex, the Rex Group comprises wholly owned subsidiaries Pel-Air Aviation (air freight, aeromedical and charter operator), the Australian Airline Pilot Academy with campuses in Wagga Wagga and Ballarat.

The Group also owns propeller maintenance organisation, Australian Aerospace Propeller Maintenance. Rex is also a 50% shareholder of National Jet Express (NJE), a premier Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO), charter and freight operator.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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