Flight attendant training school prepares for greater heights

International Cabin Attendant Training School continues to fly high in its mission to help young dreamers pursue a fulfilling career in the airline service industry.

ICATS, an Ortigas-based school which was recently accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, was cited as the “Premier Flight Attendant Training Center [National Awards]” during the Elite Business and Leadership Awards 2019 for its exemplary training programs and helping develop professionals in other related industries.

“When ICATS started, we only envisioned to set up a flight attendant school. Over the years, we saw the potential of expanding to the corporate arena,” said ICATS founder and chief executive Princess Joy Garcia. 

ICATS founder and chief executive Princess Joy Garcia (fifth from left) with nine scholars
“We want to help not just aspiring flight attendants but also fresh graduates who do not know where to start in their chosen fields,” said Arthuro de Leon, ICATS co-founder and program and training head. De Leon is a certified corporate image consultant who trained at the Sterling Style Academy in New York and has conducted personality development seminars for various top companies like Victory Liner, PNB Savings, Megaworld, Chinabank Savings, Goldilocks and Unipharma. 

For 2019, ICATS is launching two new sub-programs under its “Corporate Program” – the Corporate Image Enhancement Program, which tackles dressing for success and cultivating a positive corporate image; and W.A.V.E. (Work Attitude Values Enhancement), a program designed to help a company’s HR team articulate its vision, mission and core values to employees to build a strong organizational culture.  

It is also conducting a “Me After College” which seeks to help fresh graduates prepare for their professional life through image enhancement and job interview essentials. 

ICATS is reaching greater heights for its other core programs as well. 

“Through our campus program, international students have come to know us and have signed up for training. We also worked with two international schools this year and other schools will soon follow,” said De Leon. 

The “Campus Program” has three sub-programs: Flight 101 (Introducing the Life of a Flight Attendant), Flight 102 (Improving Personal Skills to Becoming an Airline Professional) and Flight 103 (Transforming Flight Attendant Dreams to Reality).

Meanwhile, the “Cabin Crew Program” remains  the school’s flagship program with in-depth courses: Direct Flight Program, Red-Eye Flight Program (for working professionals who want to shift to a flight attendant career) and Connecting Flight Program (for aspirants living outside of Metro Manila).

ICAT’s holistic training approach and job assistance program have been vital to the success of its graduates.

“We do not just train flight attendants to make it to the industry. The end goal is to help these young people excel,” said Naze Mortell, an ICATS trainer for personality development, Airbus on-board services and interview essentials. 

“We train them not just on academics but more importantly, character-building. We always reiterate that a flight attendant should have certain qualities―someone who does not just work for money but knows what their purpose is for flying, someone who is loyal and will not jump from one airline to another,” Mortell said.

Mortell has served as a cabin crew at Asiana Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines for eight years.

“Being a flight attendant can just be the start to a continuous learning process. We have students who went on to become pilots for Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and other airlines,” said Cenn Nuyda, ICATS trainer for flight emergency procedures, aircraft familiarization and interview essentials.  Nuyda is currently a senior cabin crew at Royal Air Charter Service Inc. and an in-flight consultant for SEAir International.  

ICATS has more than 1,100 graduates and most of them hold vital positions in prestigious local and international commercial airlines.  

As a way of giving back, ICATS is granting nine full scholarships to bright and deserving individuals. Chosen from hundreds of applicants, these nine scholars come from different backgrounds and various parts of the country.  

“The moment I heard about ICATS was the first time I set goals in my life,” said 22-year old Ferdinand Adriano from Pangasinan. “I considered becoming a policeman and a soldier―I wanted too many things and I didn’t know what to do. Being an ICATS scholar is the first step towards a good future and I can already picture myself in this industry,” he said.

“I really wanted to become a flight attendant since I was young but I didn’t pursue it because I was afraid I might not be able to sustain the financial demands of the tourism course,” said 21-year old Kristel Adriano from Bulacan who studied Finance and Treasury Management at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. “I heard of ICATS after I graduated and grabbed the opportunity to become a scholar.” 

Other ICATS scholars include former overseas worker Hakim Bonsalagan from Isabela, accounting graduate Franz Calbelo from Marikina, former Cebu airport intern Jessa Mae Cartagenas of Cebu, Sangguniang Kabataan Councilor Kiara Celine Cruz from Bulacan, entrepreneurship graduate Diana Ruth Dones from Mandaluyong, events professional Marie Erika Grajo from Quezon City, and tourism graduate Maria Milvette Lacatan from Taguig. These scholars will undergo training under the Direct Flight Program.

What makes ICATS different from other training schools or organizations is its strong family culture. 

“Our relationship with our students is not confined within the four corners of the classroom. We have former students who still share with us their work and even personal experiences. We go above and beyond what our job requires us to do and I think that’s what sets us apart,” said Mortell. 

Topics: International Cabin Attendant Training School , ICATS , Flight attendant , Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
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