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Cirrus Aviation Services

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Pilot training programme and fleet additions spur Cirrus growth
New aircraft mean CAS can better serve its fast-growing Las Vegas customer base, while a Pilot Development Programme allows it to teach its systems and procedures, and help pilots gain flight hours while being paid.
On the ramp in Las Vegas.
Read this story in our October 2022 printed issue.

Nevada-based Cirrus Aviation Services has launched a Pilot Development Programme (PDP) to meet growing demand. The company is also adding new aircraft to its fleet at Harry Reid International airport in Las Vegas.

“Since our founding in 2009 with a single plane, Cirrus Aviation Services has grown 30 per cent per year. The pilots and aircraft joining our fleet will help us meet the growing demand for chartered flights,” says CEO Greg Woods. “Our Pilot Development Programme, approved by the FAA, will help us develop the next generation of pilots. We can teach our systems and procedures, and help pilots gain valuable flight hours while being paid.”

New aircraft include a pair of HondaJets that can carry up to six passengers on short flights around the US southwest. These are a key element of the PDP, in which new commercial pilots will fly with check pilots so they can gain valuable hours of flight experience in an FAA-approved programme.

There is a well-publicised pilot shortage in the US. In addition to being paid to gain hours, pilots in the development programme can move upwards to become first officers on larger aircraft in the Cirrus fleet such as Challengers and Gulfstreams. After gaining experience, they can then upgrade to become captains on HondaJets, and ultimately captains on larger aircraft. The programme enables pilots to gain time under expert mentorship and within an airline system, a key to professional progression.

As well as the HondaJets, Cirrus has acquired a Bombardier Challenger 604 that can carry 10 passengers for 4,600 miles at speeds of 500 mph; a Challenger 850 with 15 passenger capacity, a cruising speed of 500 mph and a range of 3,000 miles; and Challenger 300s with seating for eight, that are also available for charter.

“Our reputation has always been our primary growth mechanism; our aircraft owners tell us we bring Las Vegas service and hospitality standards to aircraft management and charter,” says vice president, sales and flight services Christi Cordo. “Our charter customers, including celebrities and Las Vegas performers, appreciate that we take their comfort, privacy and safety seriously.”

The company's central Las Vegas location allows it to provide travel to customers throughout Nevada and California as well as to fast-growing surrounding states like Utah, Arizona, Oregon and Idaho, while serving the rest of the US and international destinations. Charter customers include casino executives and top headliners from the world of entertainment. Legal firms might take teams of eight people for litigation support throughout Nevada, California and surrounding states.

In addition, Cirrus offers maintenance services to private aircraft owners at Harry Reid airport in Las Vegas, and private owners can choose to make their aircraft available to Cirrus to generate charter revenue with full transparency and oversight.

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