Durban businessman helps local aspiring pilots soar

Everyone has oceans to steal, if they have the heart to do so. Is it reckless? May be. But what do dreams know about limits? Amelia Earhart

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on businesses and livelihoods. It also had an impact on education. Fortunately, a businessman has teamed up with a Durban flight school in an effort to help aspiring pilots reach the skies to achieve their dreams.

Nkalakatha of the week:

Times are tough and it’s even harder for those who want to pursue a career in aviation but are unable to do so due to lack of financial means.

Phinda Fikeni has partnered with Focus Air Flight School, based at Virginia Airport, Durban, to help students in training become pilots.

The 25-year-old businessman is the founder and director of Bridgewood Educational Services, which specializes in running a matrix upgrading school.

The partnership is expected to go into effect next month, where students would be helped to enroll in an 18-month pilot training program. They will not be required to pay the fees up front.

With this partnership, students can broaden their study choices, giving them the tools to be employable.

Through a funding model that will allow students to study now and pay later, students can become pilots, instructors, or join mechanics at a later stage. Fikeni added that it is very difficult to enter the aviation industry. This is especially true when you come from a disadvantaged background.

“Statistics show that South Africa has around 12,000 pilots and only 7% are blacks due to historical imbalances,” Fikeni said.


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