Philippines aviation readies recruits

At an aviation school in the Philippines instructors are betting on a surge of students enrolments.

The pandemic hammered demand for air travel and thousands of pilots were laid off, pushed into retirement or forced to switch careers.

Now countries are rushing to reopen, and this year Alpha Aviation Group, a school north of Manila, has seen a bump in enrolments.

Head of training Lev Albarace is optimistic about the industry picking up:

"The important thing for us to do is to get ourselves prepared and be ahead of the herd. We have to be ahead of the line and be ready for the next hiring surge."

The school's full-motion Airbus flight simulators are running all day now,

preparing the trainee pilots ready for real-world scenarios.

22-year-old Casey Abadilla is one of them, determined to finish the course and get her license.

"With the pandemic I think (for) everyone around, there's this wake-up call that everything is uncertain. To me there isn't really a perfect timing to do everything, sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith with the right amount of courage and hard work and hope for the best."

The school is preparing to add more training facilities over the next two years to accommodate this expected demand.

But one thing that has fallen during the pandemic is the price of the course with costs around $80,000 for a two-year pilot course.

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