13:22 PM

Emirates Flight Training Academy celebrates first ever cadet graduation ceremony

First group of 25 future professional pilots earn their first stripes

Dubai, UAE, 16 December 2020: The Emirates Flight Training Academy (EFTA) today held its first ever graduation ceremony for 25 pilot cadets who have completed its rigorous training programme.

The Emirates Flight Training Academy graduation ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group, Emirates senior management, as well as Dubai government representatives. The ceremony was livestreamed for families and friends of the cadets to virtually show their support.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed awarded the certificates to the successful cadets. The future aviators underwent over 1,100 hours of ground-based training, along with 315 hours of flight instruction (including simulator flying), to obtain their Integrated Air Transport Pilot Licence, as they now follow on to complete their Type Rating. The training EFTA provided its cadets exceeds the guidelines prescribed by the GCAA for ab initio pilot training.

Today’s ceremony underscores the airline’s commitment to advancing its Emiratisation strategy, despite the challenging circumstances, and providing growth opportunities as it trains and develops local Emirati talent to support the aviation industry, as well as the broader UAE economy’s future requirements.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed commented on the milestone moment for the Academy and its cadets: “Today, we recognise the hard work and extraordinary accomplishments of our cadets as they embark on the next phase of their aviation journey. The world-class education and integrated training provided at EFTA has not only provided our cadets with the technical abilities needed for the profession, but also the passion and enthusiasm that will be the bedrock for their future careers. We will continue to look at the bigger picture, and as the industry overcomes the setbacks posed by the pandemic, we want to make sure we are ready for the future. I am immensely proud of EFTA’s efforts to develop home-grown Emirati talent who will become the next generation of pilots, strengthening the UAE’s position as a global hub for aviation.”

Captain Abdulla Al Hammadi, Vice President Emirates Flight Training Academy, spoke to the graduation audience: “2020 has been a year like no other, during which the 25 cadets have navigated every obstacle in their path to reach the finish line. I am truly humbled by the determination shown by each and every one of them in reaching this goal. Not only did they manage to successfully complete one of the most intense pilot training courses in the world, but they did it in the midst of a pandemic. They will always be the first cadets to have flown our EFTA planes, to have trained on our simulators and to have worn our uniform with pride. They have truly left their mark on EFTA and set a high standard for those following in their footsteps.”

Hamad Aljasmi, cadet graduate, addressed the audience and echoed the sentiment of other cadets: “Today, we have all accomplished one of the major early milestones of our lives. The road to get here wasn’t always easy, which makes today extra special, and shows not only our personal commitment, but also our pride. The hard work we put in, the endless nights that were spent studying, the perseverance we showed, finally paid off. Throughout our long journey, we couldn’t have done it ourselves. Our gratitude goes to those who spent hours prepping us to make sure our seat on stage here today is well deserved, helping to transition us into solid, capable, professional pilots, performing at the highest standards. We couldn’t have been in better hands. I couldn’t be any prouder to say “YES, I am an a EFTA graduate.” We promise and pledge that as long as we carry those stripes on our shoulders and wings on our chests, we will never let you down!”

Located in Dubai South, the Emirates Flight Training Academy was launched by Emirates in 2017 to qualify UAE nationals and international students to become pilots. The Academy combines cutting-edge learning technologies and a modern fleet of 27 training aircraft (Cirrus SR22 G6 single-engine piston aircraft and Embraer Phenom 100EV very light jet aircraft) to train cadets with no previous knowledge of flying.

Cadets are trained using simulators, single and multi-engine aircraft; and are provided with theoretical knowledge of the aviation industry to facilitate their transition into the airline business. The Emirates Flight Training Academy highlights Emirates’ commitment as a global leader in aviation, to train and mentor pilots and meet the future talent requirements of the broader aviation industry as demand gradually recovers.