Piper Secures Archer TX Sale To AeroGuard Flight Training

Piper order

Joel Davidson, CEO of AeroGuard Flight Training Center (left), and Drew McEwan, Piper's vice president of international and direct sales, announce the deal at Dubai Airshow.

Credit: Guy Norris/Aviation Week

DUBAI—A new fleet of 90 Piper Archer TX piston singles will form the backbone of plans by U.S.-based AeroGuard Flight Training to double its fleet as part of a broader strategy to become the world’s largest airline pilot training provider.

The training company, which has facilities in Arizona and Texas, as well as Saudi Arabia, “will be training nearly 2000 students by the end of next year,” says Joel Davidson, CEO of AeroGuard Flight Training Center. “You'll see us very active in the Gulf region, and at Dubai we are announcing a partnership with Qatar Aeronautical Academy which trains pilots for Qatar Airways.”

Archer TX
Credit: Piper Aircraft

“We are working very closely with airlines across the region and to be successful the name of the game today in flight training is all about capacity,” says Davidson, who adds the new Archers will be delivered from Piper Aircraft’s site in Vero Beach, Florida, over the 2024-28 period. The company currently trains pilots for Cathay Pacific and SkyWest as well as Korean Air through Korea Aerospace University. It also has partnerships with airlines and universities in India.

AeroGuard’s Saudi facility, located at Rabigh on the Red Sea coast north of Jeddah, is expected to pay dividends as the kingdom's airline industry continues its rapid expansion and demand for pilots grows. As well as Saudia—the long-established national carrier—the market is growing with the addition of Riyadh Air, formally established earlier this year by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “It’s just a matter of time,” Davidson says referring to the growth of the Saudi market.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.