ATHENS, GREECE — Aegean Airlines, Greece's prominent carrier, has unveiled ambitious plans to create the nation's premier advanced flight training center in collaboration with Canada's CAE, a foremost expert in flight simulator technology for pilot training.

On March 30, the airline announced that this state-of-the-art facility would house seven full-flight simulators, establishing itself as the most advanced, green energy-powered flight training hub in southeastern Europe.

Set to be an integral component of the airline's 85,000 sq m (915,000 sq ft) technical base at Athens International Airport, the Aegean CAE Flight Training Center is expected to commence pilot and cabin crew training by year's end.

Initially, the facility will operate four full-flight simulators, including two Airbus A320neos, one Boeing 737NG, and one ATR 72-600, in addition to cabin crew training equipment. With its full capacity reached, the center aims to train up to 3,500 pilots and a considerable number of cabin crew annually.

This training center is part of Aegean's groundbreaking €140 million ($152 million) "aviation ecosystem" in Athens, encompassing Greece's first-ever maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility. The companies involved emphasize the significant investment this center represents in Greece's aviation industry.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, Aegean's Chief Executive, asserts that the innovative partnership with CAE will "forge the first aviation ecosystem for flight training and technical support services in Greece."

Echoing this sentiment, Nick Leontidis, CAE's President of Civil Aviation, adds, "We eagerly anticipate a fruitful joint venture with Aegean and the subsequent growth of the aviation industry in Greece and the surrounding region."

Aegean's investments are poised to generate 500 new, highly skilled jobs, illustrating the airline's strong commitment to Greece's economic growth.

The training center will be powered by solar energy, harnessed through 35,000 sq m (377,000 sq ft) of photovoltaic panels integrated within Aegean's eco-friendly hangar.

Operating a fleet of 76 narrowbody Airbus aircraft, the Athens-based airline is in the process of upgrading its fleet with A320neos and A321neos.

In a related development, CAE inaugurated a new pilot training center in Sydney last year, in partnership with Qantas.