Dubai: Emirates’ pilot training programme under the Emirates Flight Training Academy is expanding, the airline said on Tuesday. The academy announced a fleet expansion with the integration of three brand-new Diamond aircraft into its training programme.
The academy has churned out over 120 graduates who are flying full-time for Emirates, after a stringent recruitment process. The current batch has 290 cadets, which include 23 nationalities and 27 women.
The academy focuses on being able to create a reliable and trained stream of pilots for the industry, the release added. According to Oliver Wyman’s latest research, the gap between supply and demand of pilots is currently about 17,000 and it will increase to 24,000 in 2026.
With increased salaries, a boost in career growth, sophisticated aircraft, and rising demand for travel, aviation has become a sought-after career.
The age group of the cadets ranges from 17 to 26, with most pursue training right after high school. However, the ability to join later makes training a feasible option for working professionals too – for instance, an Emirates cabin crew is now a cadet at EFTA, having met the academy’s strict eligibility criteria.
Captain Abdulla Al Hammadi, Divisional Vice President Emirates Flight Training Academy, said; "EFTA is fully focused on establishing a reliable stream of pilots for the aviation industry, which has been staring at scarcity in the short to the long term, and giving aspiring cadets a visionary academy based in an iconic and one of the safest cities that is also one of the largest aviation hubs on the planet.
“We offer one of the most sophisticated cadet training programmes, delivered by our 50+ highly skilled instructors, and backed by the exceptional standards and governance set by Emirates, the world’s largest international airline. It’s inspiring to see the camaraderie and collaboration among our cadets as they graduate real-world ready with the highest levels of skills and competencies required by commercial pilots."
Cadets also fly the Diamond DA42-VI light piston twin-engine aircraft, which has successfully introduced multi-engine piston training at the academy. This means cadets train on three different aircraft types – single-engine, twin-engine and multi-engine light jets – a rarity in aviation training. The Academy touts a modern fleet of 29 training aircraft – 22 x Cirrus SR22 G6 single-engine piston, 4 x Embraer Phenom 100EV very light jet, and 3 x Diamond DA42-VI light piston twin-engine aircraft.
EFTA’s state-of-the-art facility, which is spread over 12.5 million sq.ft. (1.2 million sq.m), currently has 36 modern classrooms, 6 full motion flight simulators, an independent Air Traffic Control Tower, and a dedicated 1,800m runway.
Cadets live on campus during the training, and go through two phases: Ground school (52 weeks) and Flying Phase (52 weeks, 272 hours).
Emirates launched EFTA in 2017 to train UAE nationals and international students with no previous knowledge of flying.