Etihad airlines establishes 'Flight Academy' for Emiratis only
Etihad Airways is establishing a flight training facility in the UAE, named Etihad Flight College, to train Emirati and international cadet pilots.
As a first step in establishing this college, Etihad Airways will acquire the fixed wing training division from Horizon International Flight Academy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, it said in a statement.
Based in Al Ain, the flight academy has provided helicopter (rotary wing) training programmes since 2003, and airplane (fixed wing) training since 2007. Pilots can qualify for their Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) or Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).
All fixed wing flight instructors and some support staff currently employed by Horizon will transfer to the Etihad Flight College. The new institute will also implement the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), a training programme focussed on developing cadet pilot candidates into First Officers on completion of their training. To-date around 250 graduates have already registered for the MPL course, with the first course scheduled to commence later this year, the statement said.
Horizon currently has 210 trainees enrolled in its aviation training programmes and has been providing training for Etihad Airways’ cadet pilots for the last seven years.
“We are committed to developing a world-class facility which combines new and best practice training programs with high calibre instructors. The training facility will enhance the career opportunities in aviation, especially for UAE nationals,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer.
The assets to be acquired also include 13 Cessna 172SP Skyhawk aircraft, three Diamond DA42NG aircraft, two flight training simulators and Horizon’s hangar facilities at Al Ain International Airport.
Etihad Airways, which currently employs over 1,600 pilots, is rapidly expanding operations. The Abu Dhabi carrier recently reported a 48 per cent jump in net profits to $62 million in 2013, on the back of rising passenger numbers.
The airline will also take delivery of 18 aircrafts this year, that will include its first A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft.