Innovation and Change - How CAE has Adapted to COVID-19

27 August 2020 16:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Canadian Business Council (CBC) Abu Dhabi organized a webinar in collaboration with CAE about how CAE adapted to COVID-19 held on the 26th of August 2020. Mr. David Laliberte, Executive Director - Legal of Digital 14 LLC and moderator of the webinar thanked the participating councils, introduced CBC Abu Dhabi and the guest speakers – Mr. Thibaut Trancart,  Regional Managing Director of CAE, and Iain Walsh, Strategy & Business Development Director of CAE. 

Mr. Trancart began by introducing CAE saying it is a global training company with three business divisions: civil aviation, healthcare, defence and security. by training people to be better and more effective in their profession they aim to make air travel safer, prepare defence forces for missions and make healthcare safer. CAE has a long history of innovation, which was founded by Ken Patrick in 1947. The objective is to be globally local which means they are addressing the market from a local point of view. Regarding financial highlights, CAE has a high degree of recurring business that is why they are doing training. In addition, they have got strong competitive moat, headroom in large markets and a culture of innovation. CAE’s branch in the Middle East known for having a presence in civil aviation and has developed training systems for several military customers from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Kuwait. 

Mr. Walsh mentioned flying today is 22 times safer than driving a car due to the quality of training CAE and others have provided. They use flight simulators to provide better training while protecting people’s lives. Regarding defence and security, they train aircrew, land personnel, naval personnel, maintenance crews and public safety & security personnel. They deliver training through training products, services and centers. 

The focus on healthcare in correspondence with current COVID-19 epidemic:  He mentioned a striking statistic about America saying how 440 thousands of people die every year because of medical error which stresses on the importance of healthcare training. In CAE, they use virtual reality technology and different simulations to train in different aspect of the medical sector. Moreover, CAE has a healthcare academy to provide more knowledge and training in products, consulting, needs analysis, services and curriculum. 

Mr. Trancart talked about CAE challenges in response to COVID-19. He emphasized on the importance of business continuity matters to ensure smoother and safer operation to their customers from different sectors. Especially, customers from armed forces and healthcare fields, which require proceeding with the training in the current state. Since they are driven on innovation, they certainly aim to apply this in the way of working, and the way of interfacing with other people. They have applied remote learning, which provided a unique experience for operators and users.  In addition, they have applied innovation around products. More importantly, the objective is to have the customers honour the CAE’s mission and their own mission. Mr. Walsh later on expanded on this and discussed how CAE operates with the current epidemic.

 According to Mr. Walsh, only instructors and engineering staff are working normally whereas the majority is working from home. They expect 25% of their workforce to continue working from home even after the crisis is over. Also, there is an increased level of I.T. security assurance and business systems have transformed mostly virtually with online meetings. This change allowed thousands of people to attend their online meetings. Therefore, how they conduct business with clients has fundamentally changed. In regard to civil aviation challenges, this sector is impacted the most with COVID-19 since there was a drastic decrease in travels because of globally occurred restrictions. However, pilots still need training hence only essential training facilities remain open. About defence and security, they have followed strict safety protocols for used facilities to ensure post-session cleaning.

Mr. Walsh proceeds to discuss about healthcare sector saying they have provided simulated clinical environments, distance learning, free webinars and tool kits to prepare clinical facilities for COVID-19 challenges. Also, CAE has developed the Pathogens of High Consequences learning module and Suspected COVID-19 simulation to prepare clinical teams for safe communication and treatment with the patients. Afterwards, Walsh discussed CAEAir1 Mechanical Ventilator, which helps patients with respiratory insufficiency or failure. Finally, he emphasized how COVID-19 have impacted the nature of their business, operations, people’s processes which required change and innovation however they do have a secure financial base which foreshadows a positive future for them.

The webinar continued with Q&A.

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About the Canadian Business Council Abu Dhabi

The Canadian Business Council Abu Dhabi (CBC) promotes business relations, commerce and investment between Canada and the UAE with a particular focus on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We provide opportunities for Canadian business executives in the UAE to meet on a regular basis and to exchange information about business opportunities. As a link with organizations in Canada, CBC Abu Dhabi is dedicated to the development of trade and corporate investment between Canada and the UAE and assist Canadian companies and business people who are establishing or contemplating to establish a trading base in this country.


CAE is a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets. Backed by a 70-year record of industry firsts, we continue to help define global training standards with our innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defence force readiness and enhance patient safety. We have the broadest global presence in the industry, with over 10,000 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. Each year, we train more than 220,000 civil and defence crewmembers, including more than 135,000 pilots, and thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.

Maryam Almansoori, Intern, CBC Abu Dhabi

PO Box 105075, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | Telephone No. +971 52 968 9870 | Email:

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