Etihad to set up training college
Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2014
UAE national airline Etihad Airways said it has established a world-class flight training facility in the UAE for Emirati and international cadet pilots.
As a first step in setting up the Etihad Flight College, the Abu Dhabi carrier is in the process of acquiring the fixed wing training division from Horizon International Flight Academy (Horizon), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company.
Based in Al Ain, Horizon has provided helicopter (rotary wing) training programs since 2003, and airplane (fixed wing) training since 2007. At Horizon, pilots can qualify for their Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) or Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).
Horizon currently has 210 trainees enrolled in its aviation training programs and has been the selected training provider for Etihad Airways’ cadet pilots for the last seven years.
Etihad Airways’ president and CEO James Hogan said: "The establishment of the college is a natural part of our strategy to produce the best pilots to support our rapidly expanding fleet. It also helps underpin the growth and development of the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi."
Etihad Airways currently employs over 1,600 pilots and places great emphasis on recruiting the best pilots from around the world, including Emirati pilots.
“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,” he noted.
Subject to regulatory approval, Horizon’s fixed wing division will be acquired by Etihad Flight College. The remaining rotary wing division will be Horizon’s key area of focus with plans to consolidate and continue to grow the business.
Horizon CEO Hareb Al Dhaheri said: “We are proud to have grown the UAE’s pilot training initiative into a successful company. This transaction benefits both Abu Dhabi companies, and allows Horizon to focus on developing its future core business of delivering world class helicopter pilots for all of our Rotary Wing customers.”
The assets to be acquired include 13 Cessna 172SP Skyhawk aircraft, three Diamond DA42NG aircraft, two flight training simulators and Horizon’s hangar facilities at Al Ain International Airport.
Under the deal, all fixed wing flight instructors and some support staff currently employed by Horizon will transfer to the Etihad Flight College ensuring there is no disruption to the ongoing cadet pilot training programs.
Etihad Flight College will also implement the innovative Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), a competency-based training program that is focussed on developing cadet pilot candidates into high quality First Officers on completion of their training.-TradeArabia News Service