2. 12. 2005 - Czech Airlines Inaugurates 62 New Captains

Prague, December 2, 2005

Czech Airlines (CSA) has officially inaugurated 62 new captains for the ATR42 / 72 and the Boeing 737 aircraft. For the second year in a row, the inauguration ceremony for the official appointment of CSA pilots to the position of 'captain' was held at the National Technical Museum in Prague.  The newly appointed pilots were handed their CSA captain certificates by Jaroslav Tvrdík, the company's president.

"The newly appointed captains had to meet the strict set of criteria, which are associated with this position. They are backed by professional accomplishments and loyalty to the company, which has enabled their professional and career growth at CSA", Jaroslav Tvrdík, the president of the company commented as he installed the new captains.

Throughout their careers, all CSA pilots must regularly complete both a theoretical and practical professional checking cycle (every 6 months). The ability to achieve excellent results during the checking is one of the many criteria used for the appointment of pilots to the position of captain. In addition, each captain must be the holder of a commercial pilot's license. In the Czech Republic, the obtaining of such a license requires the successful completion of a series of vigorous tests that are based on the highest levels of standards, which are similar to those applicable throughout Western Europe. Yet another requirement is a sufficiently high number of total hours (a total of several thousand hours) flown on commercial, multi-engine aircraft and on CSA aircraft. Last but not least, each pilot that is selected for the position of a captain must complete a vigorous captain's training, which once again, includes a theoretical part and a practical in-flight checking.
By being appointed into the position of a captain, the pilot becomes the highest-ranking officer in the cockpit of a CSA aircraft. Such a position includes the responsibility for the safe completion of each flight and the assurance of an adequate level of comfort for each traveling passenger. The appointment also involves the switching to CSA's captain uniform, which can be recognized by its four golden stripes on the sleeves of the uniform's jacket and shirt. 

Czech Airlines employs a total of 530 pilots flying the ATR42/ 72, Boeing 737 and Airbus A310/ A320/ A321 aircraft. 277 of these pilots have the rank of 'captain' (aircraft commander) and the remaining 253 have the rank of 'co-pilot'. In addition to Czech nationals, the CSA complement of pilots includes 45 from Slovakia, 4 from Italy, 3 Germans, 2 Swiss, 2 Canadians and 1 each from France, America and the Russian Federation. The team of those responsible for flying the CSA fleet is made up of both men and women. The CSA pilot team currently includes 12 women, 2 of whom have the rank of captain for ATR aircraft.

Czech Airlines pays a great deal of attention to the selection process and the training of its pilots. In 2004, CSA pilots spent nearly 9,000 training hours in flight simulators, in the cockpit or in the classrooms at the CSA Training Centre.     

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Jitka Novotná
CSA Spokesperson