Air Transport World

Soup to nuts: simulator manufacturing is a lucrative but risky business which is why market leader CAE has tapped into the more stable world of flight training. (Training).(CAE Inc.)

Taking a page from Boeing's full-service playbook, Montreal-based CAE Inc. has gone full throttle into the flight training business by acquiring like companies and forming partnerships with OEMs and airlines in an attempt to create a more balanced, financially stable training services company.

Boeing may have plowed the full-service field with the creation of Flight-Safety Boeing Training International, soon to be called Alteon. But vertically integrated CAE is attempting to become the first company that can do it all, from manufacturing full flight simulators, flight training devices (or Integrated Procedures Trainers as CAE refers to them) and cockpit procedures trainers to providing courseware and instructors for Regional and Major airlines and the corporate market worldwide.

"We are offering a soup-to-nuts training solution," beams Group President-Civil Simulation and Training Gary Scott. "If you listen to the OEMs, they talk not just of selling aircraft but of providing a total package of support services as well, and training is a critical component of that package," says Scott, a former president of FSB who came to CAB last August.

CAE's move into flight training also makes good business sense. Stability in the present economic climate is a valuable commodity. While the simulator business is a much more cyclical venture in which "either it's a home run or it's not," the flight training business is "more like an annuity, which increases in value," Scott explains. …

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