STOCK Emirates Pilots
The airline's recruitment team will host roadshows in more than 26 cities in over 18 countries this year. Image Credit: Emirates

Dubai: Dubai’s flagship carrier, Emirates, announced significant changes to pilot recruitment policies on Tuesday. These include higher salaries, new roles, and a radical change to eligibility, the airline said in a statement issued on World Pilots’ Day. Emirates also increased the base salary for the new recruits who will be flying the Airbus A350s and A380s in the airline’s fleet.

Emirates is also offering enhanced salary packages for First Officers with experience of over 4,000 flying hours on the modern Airbus fly-by-wire or Boeing aircraft.

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Emirates has employed over 4,400 pilots, and in 2023, the airline recruited over 420 pilots through its recruitment programmes – Direct Entry Captains, Accelerated Command, and First Officers.

“Pilots at the airline receive a competitive tax-free salary, are eligible for profit share, and are provided spacious villas in gated communities, education allowance, and excellent life, medical and dental cover,” said Emirates. “They also have access to a world-class provident fund and receive regular and complimentary financial advice,” the statement added.

Recruitment Drive

The airline confirmed plans to rev up its pilot recruitment drive as it prepares to start taking delivery of its 65 A350s on order from mid-year and its mix of 205 777-9s and 777-8s in 2025. Emirates said its recruitment team will host roadshows in more than 26 cities in over 18 countries this year.

“The changes to eligibility criteria and salary packages represent a step forward in its commitment to attracting the best talent globally and ensuring a perfect customer experience on every single journey,” an airline spokesperson said.

The airline said plans are in place to recruit non-type-rated First Officers, an Accelerated Command Programme for Boeing 777s, Direct Entry Captains for its Airbus A350 fleet, and First Officers.

Emirates said it would be hiring First Officers who are non-type rated – which essentially means those who have experience only on turboprops or jets. “These pilots will now have the opportunity to be fully trained to fly the airline’s all-wide-body fleet of 144 Boeing aircraft across its network that spans more than 140 destinations. First Officers will also be able to fly 205 of the new Boeing 777-Xs when these aircraft enter the fleet from 2025,” the airline said.

The airline has also extended its Accelerated Command Programme (ACP) to its fleet of Boeing 777s – which so far was reserved for its fleet of Airbus A380. “This is an incredible opportunity for motivated captains flying narrow-body aircraft to graduate to wide-body on Emirates’ fast track promotion programme,” the airline said.

The airline is also calling for Direct Entry Captains (DEC) to command its anticipated A350 fleet of 65 aircraft. Deliveries of the A350s will start mid-year and serve new and existing destinations. “The airline continues to welcome DECs for its fleet of A380s,” it said.

What can pilots expect? 

Emirates pilots undergo in-house evidence- and competency-based training programmes with highly skilled instructors in specially designed environments. Its cutting-edge training facility houses ten full-flight simulators for Boeing 777s and Airbus 380s.

Last year, the airline announced an investment of $135 million to build an advanced training facility to accommodate six Full Flight Simulator Bays (FFS) for its A350s and 777X aircraft. The new 63,318 sq. ft. facility is slated to open later this year.