The number of trainees at the start of the 2020 academic year was down by half to 300.
By Clinton Ochieng
The number of trainees at the start of the 2020 academic year was down by half to 300, with the courses for flight attendants at a complete stop as airlines shed cabin crew jobs to match the vastly reduced number of flights they are operating.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw airlines ground most of their planes as travel came to a near standstill, graduates of the CFA school had no problem finding jobs.
In France, the aerospace and aviation industries recruited 8,000 apprentices in 2019, double the number a decade ago as air traffic expanded between 3.0 and 4.0 percent per year. But Covid-19 brought all that to a brutal halt.
Companies are now shedding jobs, thousands of them. Airbus has plans to let 15,000 staff go, including 5,000 in France. Air France plans to cut 8,500 jobs.
Air traffic was down two-thirds globally in 2020, according to the International Air Transport Association, and it does not expect a return to 2019 levels before 2024. CFA director Flavigny hopes to make it through the worst of the pandemic so the school can survive.
Flavigny is worried about current and former students, many of whom now face becoming unemployed. Meanwhile, the students themselves fluctuate between determination and depression.
in a vast hanger that holds a Falcon business jet and a Super Puma helicopter for technical training, just a couple of dozen students are busy at workbenches.
Most students who thought they would realize their dreams of being pilots or flight attendants have opted out and are now looking for jobs in different fields such as insurance.
Clinton is a journalist with a nose for news that cuts across socioeconomic issues.