Simulation and training specialist CAE has acquired Oxford Aviation Academy (OAA) in a C$314 million ($309 million) deal that will add seven training centers and 40 full-flight simulators (FFS) to CAE’s worldwide base of facilities.

The acquisition will take CAE’s civil training locations to 42 with a total of 211 FFSs. It also expands the number of CAE-operated flight schools from eight to 12, taking annual cadet capacity up to 1,500.

The inclusion in the deal of OAA's Parc Aviation, which sources pilot and maintenance crew for airlines and leasing companies, also broadens Canadian-headquartered CAE’s portfolio.

"Civil aerospace market fundamentals are strong and we are increasing our position at an opportune time. With this acquisition, CAE responds to market demand with an increased footprint and a complete end-to-end solution for commercial aviation," said CAE president and CEO Marc Parent.

CAE-operated flight schools will now be branded CAE Oxford Aviation Academy. OAA’s seven facilities are located in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Hong Kong, providing flight crew, cabin crew and maintenance training for Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems, Embraer and Saab aircraft. Its four ab-initio flight academies are based in Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and the US.

Worldwide airline growth and the influx of new aircraft types are creating strong demand for pilots—and in some regions, a shortage—and also for crew training. In April, L-3 Communications announced it was purchasing the civil aviation civil aircraft simulation and training business of UK-based Thales Training & Simulation (TTS). The deal will see L-3’s military simulation unit, Link, expand into the airline market (ATW Daily News, April 12).