Pilot training

Training during your career

Finnair Flight Academy offers training solutions that span the entire life cycle of a professional pilot. We offer a full coverage of flight crew training through competency-driven courses appropriate for pilots at varying stages of their careers.  These include:

  • Entry-level training (ELT): for ab-initio pilots or pilots who do not have experience with jet aircraft
  • Type rating courses: competency-based full type rating courses
  • Cross-Crew-Qualification (CCQ) courses: taking credit from previous Airbus experience to reduce type-rating training duration
  • Instructor courses: dedicated to future or experienced pilot instructors
  • Second-in-command courses: interactive classroom training combined with simulator exercise to develop the necessary competencies for relief captain duties
  • Command courses: an interactive course focusing on non-technical skills such as management and decision-making, comprising of classroom and simulator training
  • Recurrent training and refresher courses

Airbus Entry-Level Training

Finnair Flight Academy provides Airbus entry-level training for all pilots seeking for Airbus type rating training. Airbus entry-level training consists of 3–5 simulator sessions depending on the trainee’s background.

The objective of the ELT course is to provide sufficient knowledge and practical experience in jet handling and Airbus cockpit philosophy before proceeding to the next level, which is a type rating course for one of the Airbus types.

All Finnair pilots must successfully pass ELT training to be able to proceed to the type rating course. Basics of Finnair SOPs are introduced in ELT training in order to prepare trainees for the full type rating course.

Type Rating Courses

Finnair Flight Academy provides carefully designed type rating courses for all aircraft types we operate. The courses are provided under Finnair Flight Academy’s ATO Approval with our syllabus and qualified instructors. All instructors on type rating courses are experienced Finnair line pilots using a practical and operationally integrated learning approach. Training is carried out using computer-based training tools, flight training devices and level C and D full-flight simulators.

The type rating course consists of a ground training phase, including classroom lessons and self-study through Finnair Training portal, and a flight training phase, including sessions with flight training devices and a full-flight simulator. At the end of the course, depending on the trainee's background, there are options to complete Zero Flight Time Training (ZFTT) or take a Base Training flight on a Finnair Airbus.

Pilots joining the Finnair crew will need to take part in one of the Airbus type rating courses. Usually the courses start one to four months after successfully passed company conversion and Airbus entry level training and last about six weeks. For MPL pilots, the Airbus entry level training and Airbus type rating course are included in the MPL course.

At the beginning of the type rating course you will receive the contact details for the training support and the corresponding Chief Flying Instructor. Successfully passed type rating course will open the doors to becoming a professional airline pilot.

Prerequisites for a type rating certificate are:

  • At least 70 hours of flight experience as Pilot in Command (PIC)
  • A valid Multi-engine and Instrument Rating IR(A)
  • ATPL theoretical certificate
  • A course completion certificate for an MCC course in airplanes (except when the type rating course is combined with an MCC course)
  • Valid medical class 1 certificate
  • ICAD English level 4

Cross-Crew Qualification Courses

Cross-crew qualification courses are shortened type rating courses taking credit from previous Airbus experience to reduce the training duration. Finnair Flight Academy provides CCQ courses between the following Airbus types:

  • From A320 to A330
  • From A320 to A350
  • From A340 to A330
  • From A330 to A320

Before entering the CCQ course, the trainee must have adequate knowledge and flight experience on the previous Airbus type (base aircraft). The minimum requirement is 150 hours experience on the base aircraft.

There is also a differences training course – Common Type Rating Course (CTR) – available for trainees transitioning from A330 to A350. Unlike the CCQ courses, the CTR course does not require a skills test at the end of training, as the trainee already has A330/350 type rating in the license.

The duration of the CCQ courses varies from one to two weeks including a skills test and a Zero Flight Time Training session before the start of line flying under supervision.

Second-In-Command Training

Second-in-command training is designed for pilots who have completed more than 1,500 hours in Multi-Pilot Airplanes and wish to remove the co-pilot restriction for the specific aircraft type rating in order to be able to relief captain during flight in long-haul operations. The training comprises of the following elements:

  • Theoretical training: one day of interactive ground school. Topics covered on the course include command skills, managing people, communication, leadership, analysis and decision-making, crew resource management and aviation law.
  • Simulator training: the simulator training and skills test are planned to meet individual needs and to support the practical application of knowledge development in classroom.

Second-in-command training may be completed in A330 or A350 depending on the actual qualifications of the trainee.

Commander Training

The commander course is designed to prepare pilots for upgrading to captain. This course is designed for pilots who already have an ATPL license or have completed more than 1,500 hours in Multi-Pilot Airplanes and are moving on to upgrade to commanders.

The commander course consists of interactive ground-school modules and a series of simulator exercises, which promote the practical application of skills learned in classroom. Covering leadership and communication to managing the complexities and essential aspects of aviation law, the commander course will ensure that you will be well prepared for the additional responsibilities that come with the move to the left-hand seat.

In Finnair operations, all commander upgrade trainees must have acceptance from the Fleet office to upgrade into the commander seat in the company.

Instructor Training

Our instructor training courses are designed to provide the participants with the adequate theoretical foundation and practical training to apply effective methods of instruction and train others according to the regulatory authority requirements in the respective area of training. Instructor training is provided for the following instructor duties:

  • Type Rating Instructor (TRI)
  • Synthetic Flight Instructor (SFI)
  • Line Flying Instructor (LFI)
  • Ground Instructor (GI)

The privileges of the TRI or SFI rating holders are to be able to instruct license holders for the full-flight simulator training of a Multi-Pilot Aircraft type rating. TRIs are also privileged to conduct line flying training during the first sectors after Zero Flight Time Training. Line Flying Instructors may conduct line flying under supervision training after type rating and conversion courses.

Ground Instructors conduct classroom training and FTD training preceding full-flight simulator training during the type rating course. Classroom training lessons are allocated to Ground Instructors according to their subject matter expertise.

Before TRI or SFI training, the trainees must meet with the prerequisites defined in the EASA–FCL requirements.

Recurrent and Refresher Training

Finnair pilots need to take part in recurrent simulator training twice a year. The training includes theoretical training, flight training and checking. Recurrent training and checking consists of the following elements:

  • LPC: License proficiency check is an annual event for revalidation of type rating. It consists of a four-hour simulator session plus briefings.
  • OPC: Operator proficiency check is a bi-annual event completed every six months. Every other OPC is combined with LPC. OPC consists of a four-hour simulator sessions plus briefings.
  • REC: Recurrent simulator training is a bi-annual event completed every six months. It is preceded by LPC or OPC. The objective of REC exercise is to refresh knowledge and skills in the relevant areas of operational knowledge and pilot competences.

Low visibility operations (LVO) training and checking, and pilot qualification to operate in either pilot's seat (EPS) if applicable, are integrated into recurrent training and checking modules.

After being absent from flying duties or after the expiry of type rating, appropriate refresher training is required for the renewal of an expired type rating. To pass a proficiency check and to safely operate the relevant type again, knowledge and skills need to be refreshed. Finnair Flight Academy provides refresher training courses that comply with EASA FCL.740 for renewal of class and type ratings. The exact training program depends on the length of absence from flying duties. Training in the full-flight simulator includes an individual training program that is based on the initial training for the issue of the rating and focuses on the applicant’s needs.