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Aviation Academy: Fiji Airways' first-ever female A330 captain takes off

Fiji Airways' Aviation Academy has been instrumental in training Fiji Airways pilots and cabin crew during the pandemic and the lead-up to the resumption of flights for international tourists last week.

Fiji Airways’ Aviation Academy has been instrumental in training Fiji Airways pilots and cabin crew during the pandemic and the lead-up to the resumption of flights for international tourists last week.

Fiji Airways says it’s proud to launch the F$89 million dollar, first of its kind, training facility in the South Pacific islands. 

The Fiji Airways Aviation Academy (FJAA) at Namaka, Nadi features two CAAF and EASA certified full flight simulators across the Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as well as fixed flight training devices for the Airbus A330 and DHC-6 Viking Twin Otter aircraft types.

The Academy is one of only a few in the southern hemisphere to offer pilots the opportunity to train and get certified to operate on the Boeing 737 Max simulator.

Fiji Airways
Captain Clayton Cornish (L) and Student Edwin Caucau

The Aviation Academy is a fully integrated training centre, providing world-class training for pilots, aircraft and simulator engineers and flight attendants.

The full flight simulators allow local Fijian pilots across Fiji Airways and Fiji Link to complete their recurrent training program covering mandatory skills and scenario-based training for emergency and unusual situations in Fiji instead of overseas saving the airline F$14 million a year.

The FJAA is able to conduct A330 and 737 Max type ratings and B737NG to B737 Max conversions to further the development and progression of local pilots, with 17 promotions expected before the second quarter of 2022.

Fiji Airways First-Ever Female A330 Captain 

Fiji Airways
Fiji Airways Aviation Academy

The FJAA was crucial to the training and promotion of Fiji Airways’ first-ever female captain of a widebody aircraft.

Captain Seini Koroitamana Cornish started her qualification progress in March this year and has progressed to a Fiji Airways A330 Captain, the first in the airline’s 70-year history. 

Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO, Andre Viljoen believes the Aviation Academy is a testament to the strength and commitment of Fiji Airways over the last four years since the project began enduring the global pandemic.

“We are extremely proud to officially open the doors of our Fiji Airways Aviation Academy for our flight crew and to those in the aviation industry. Our staff including pilots like Captain Seini Koroitamana Cornish will no longer need to travel overseas to keep up with their training and instead can easily do it here in Fiji and be closer to their families.”

“Fiji Airways is delighted the Academy is able to contribute to our milestones this year. The promotion of Captain Koroitamana Cornish’s to A330 command is a historic and remarkable achievement.

“All simulator sessions required for her ‘upgrade’ were conducted right here. We are incredibly proud to be able to offer our staff the opportunity to progress their careers in aviation and continue to be trailblazers in the South Pacific.”

Fiji Airways
Steward training Fiji Airways 4

Flight attendants have access to an A350 door trainer, slide-raft, smoke room and service trainer module within the Academy to keep up to date with training requirements and provide the world-class hospitality and customer experience Fiji Airways is known for.

The simulators are maintained and serviced by Fiji national simulator engineers. The engineers are able to train on engine Start-ups and Runs.

A separate viewing gallery between the two flight simulators allows Fiji Airways to provide educational and school tours, whilst training is taking place.

“The Fiji Airways Aviation Academy is the most advanced aviation training facility in the South Pacific, cementing Fiji as the aviation and trade hub of the region,” said Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

“The Academy provides the best possible training for pilots, engineers and flight attendants from Fiji and around the world. We are very excited that Fiji Airways can start a commercial aviation pilot license education to help young Fijian boys and girls take to the skies as future pilots. The Fiji Airways Aviation Academy will be a lasting legacy for the future of Fijian aviation.”

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