Ayla trains in on its Facebook friends
Jordanian training company Ayla Aviation has always tried to encourage the youth in the Middle East to take an interest in aviation – from organising student summer camps to encouraging young women to check out what is often deemed to be a more a male market. And this year is no exception.
“About a year ago we wanted to set up an organisation as a platform for youth in aviation within the Middle East,” said CEO, Marwan Atalla.
“While we formed the idea, it needed funding, so we put it on hold. Then, coincidently, last year we saw a company on Facebook called Young Arab Pilots Association (YAPA) so we got in touch and invited them to Ayla. It turned out they had the same idea as us, except they were focusing on pilots and we focused on aviation in general.
“But it was a good start. So we gave them our presentation, told them to use it and go forth and multiply and we will help them and support them.
“Since then, they have visited our facilities in Aqaba and we have helped them with their Facebook page. They come into the office at times to help with marketing and business plans to set their mission and vision statement in place to open themselves up more to potential sponsors.”
YAPA was formed by three 16-year olds still in high school who hope to, one day, become pilots.
“YAPA is a non-profit association, which was established in January 2012 to expose Arab youth to aviation by giving them opportunities to learn more about this industry, to provide a social hub for the youth to share their ideas and experiences, and to encourage them to consider aviation as a career,” explained Eyad Rayyan, chairman.
Along with friends Omar Sayegh, vice president, and Hagop Toranian, CEO, all have a huge amount of flying hours on simulators.
“We got our passion of flying either through friends or family,” said Rayyan.
“In the Arab world the youth know very little about aviation and we want to open this up to them,” added Sayegh. “As young future pilots we want to set the right example about aviation in this region.”
While Ayla Aviation is already guiding YAPA, it is also looking at funding it.
“These three young men are exceptional. It’s a really exciting project to be involved in,” said Atalla.