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L3 VS CAE VS Leading Edge vs FTA- What is the best choice 2021?

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L3 VS CAE VS Leading Edge vs FTA- What is the best choice 2021?

Old 6th Nov 2022, 18:16
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Originally Posted by Hats.On.To.Fly View Post
Lot's of experienced FIs leaving, to be replaced by fresh student graduates in 16 months time, what could go wrong.
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2 year bond to repay 115k, be interesting to see how that got by finance.

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The bond would be totally unenforceable in that case. What will they do, repossess your instructor spec 2006 Corsa?

Two years instructing isnít the end of the world, given you get the MCC etc youíll be ready to walk into the blue and yellow 737 the second that bond expires.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 19:34
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Originally Posted by VariablePitchP View Post
The bond would be totally unenforceable in that case. What will they do, repossess your instructor spec 2006 Corsa?

Two years instructing isnít the end of the world, given you get the MCC etc youíll be ready to walk into the blue and yellow 737 the second that bond expires.
Oh don't get me wrong, that is a great deal for the students and there will be massive competition for those 6 places. Pretty cushty for a 2 year bond, airlines used to do 4+ years for a 30k type rating.

I just don't understand it from the business side. Leading Edge apparently couldn't pay their bills recently, and just opened a fair weather base and so have all the costs associated with that. It just doesn't add up.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 20:21
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Originally Posted by Hats.On.To.Fly View Post
Oh don't get me wrong, that is a great deal for the students and there will be massive competition for those 6 places. Pretty cushty for a 2 year bond, airlines used to do 4+ years for a 30k type rating.

I just don't understand it from the business side. Leading Edge apparently couldn't pay their bills recently, and just opened a fair weather base and so have all the costs associated with that. It just doesn't add up.
It definitely doesnít add up if you think of it as them paying £115K. Reality is that includes VAT for customers paying it, so weíre straight away down to £95K. Thatís got a load of margin in, canít be costing them much more than £60K to actually train them. Which will have some obscure tax write off built into it. Itís got the BSc thing, all sorts of stuff they can play.

Huge amount of free advertising, charging lots of people for assessments.

On balance though, I still canít knock it. There will absolutely be people who get licences who otherwise couldnít, and that can only be a good thing.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 20:33
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Originally Posted by Hats.On.To.Fly View Post
I just don't understand it from the business side. Leading Edge apparently couldn't pay their bills recently, and just opened a fair weather base and so have all the costs associated with that. It just doesn't add up.
The new base is a fairly derelict Spanish airfield with little infrastructure, probably a fairly good deal was done with the local government who will do anything for a drop of investment.

As for the programme, At a minimum with 1000 applicants to this scheme it is likely that Leading Edge will make enough in assessment fees to cover half the programme's cost, take on some others who will likely go whitetail anyway at their own expense and LE haven't really reached far into their pockets at all. Some would say it's more of a lottery.
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 08:22
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The last few years have been brutal for people wanting to fly for an airline in Europe. Most recently Covid and now the war in Ukraine have additionally left a number of highly experienced pilots high and dry. I know several who have become train drivers. Others like myself have retired. Two I spoke to in the last week are now in successful business careers and fly for fun, both have ATPLs. I am hesitant to conclude that things are looking up, because the inevitable economic hangover must dampen demand. But I am nonetheless intrigued when a jobs upturn will occur here as it undoubtedly has in the US. I am interested if anyone has any data on the current situation. To prime the pump I had a look at ATPL theory exam passes over the last 20 years here in Germany. Not surprisingly the numbers appear to have more than halved over the last 20 years. This is hardly surprising if jobs are hard to come by and the cost of training is over Ä100K. You can obviously save some by following the self improver route, but it is still a big perishable investment. Does anyone have an overview on number of pilots required versus current output?
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 21:34
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Don't forget the old saying, "there is no such thing as a free lunch"....

BCFT (a long established and quite respectable UK school) recently went bankrupt recently so beware of 'free' offers. No flight training school could ever afford to give away such vast sums. It is clever marketing for sure. Leading Edge state on their website they are willing to give away almost 700,000 pounds in free courses, this cannot be sustainable for any ATO. They will have to fund it with either an incredibly large number of people paying for the assessment, highly improbable, or the scheme will ultimately collapse. As the previous posters suggest, if you were one of the lucky ones I guess it could be looked at like a 300 pound lottery ticket, however, the catch is you have to pass. Cynically, one could imagine the free courses will only be offered when enough have paid! Furthermore, there are bound to be lots of legal clauses which will allow the school to get out of the commitment at any time, just as L3 did when Covid hit, so perhaps it's not quite like winning the lottery.

The history of flight training proves beyond any doubt that profit margins are often slim and companies fold quite frequently. Its also true, some that collapsed were due to dishonesty of the owners....pocket your money and run! The so called 'big 3' maybe able to fund aggressive advertising and marketing campaigns and can take larger risks because they have the financial backing, nevertheless, as history has proven, when they fail to produce the profits demanded by investors, things change quickly and students are left hanging.

The sad thing about flight training is that it takes a lot of investment and a lot of energy to make and sustain a long term business. Often too many schools chasing too few customers, boom to bust is the norm, pilot demand fluctuates and the training industry goes up and down with it. Potential customers are often bewildered by opinions, by the choices, the arguments about the best way forward (modular vs integrated being the big one) and sadly, there are still too many less the honest school owners trying to get their piece of the pie.

My message has been consistent, along with many others on this forum. Airlines will take you if they need pilots and you are up to the task (well trained), so: go modular, keep control, don't pay all up front, don't be dazzled by big is best and don't pay over 100K when you can get it all for 60-70% of that cost, and finally, don't fall for promises which are often smoke and mirrors and clever marketing (lots of schools are trying them), and remember, freebies always cost money someone ultimately has to pay..

SJ
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 14:23
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Originally Posted by spitfirejock View Post
BCFT (a long established and quite respectable UK school) recently went bankrupt recently so beware of 'free' offers.
As a point of clarification, as I understand it, BCFT didn't enter bankruptcy. It ceased to trade, reimbursing impacted parties, including cadets.
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Old 14th Nov 2022, 23:24
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Originally Posted by jez d View Post
As a point of clarification, as I understand it, BCFT didn't enter bankruptcy. It ceased to trade, reimbursing impacted parties, including cadets.
I did not make any comment about whether they owed money to anyone, I do not know. I have heard 'rumors' (this is a rumor network after all) they do owe several hundred thousand to 'creditors' although I don't know who these might be, students or suppliers?, your guess is as good as mine.

The point was, schools come and go and my concern is more about the slim margins in flight training, BCFT would not have ceased to trade, one assumes, if they were making decent money!

SJ
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Old 30th Nov 2022, 14:22
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BCFT

As I understand it the liquidators were in BCFT two weeks ago.

Rob
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