Dubai: Alpha Aviation Group, with ten international aviation academies, has launched Alpha Aviation Academy (AAA) in the UAE that will train students to fly commercial jets.

Based at Sharjah International Airport, the academy offers the multi-crew pilot licence (MPL), a first in the Middle East.

"There is a shortage in the market for pilots, especially with regional airlines expecting deliveries for their expanding fleets," said Mustafa Ali, general manager of AAA, UAE, adding that the MPL would change pilot training in the region.

"Most aviation courses train on small single-engine airplanes that enable one to get a commercial pilot's licence, but fall short on the skills and qualifications needed to fly present day highly sophisticated commercial jets. As the aviation industry evolves, the training programmes must be reflective of this," Ali said.

The course also received clearance from the General Civil Aviation Authority for the courses last December.

In the coming months, Ali said that the company will either be acquiring or leasing four large aircraft for training purposes.

The academy has partnered with Air Arabia to train students with the airline's standard operating procedures.

The course is currently in the ground-training phase and has a capacity of 120 students yearly.