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Emirates Flight Training Academy Orders 27 Aircraft

DUBAI, U.A.E., 4 November 2015 – Emirates Flight Training Academy, developed by Emirates airline to address its growing need for pilots, has signed an agreement with Cirrus Aircraft and Embraer to order 27 new aircraft. The order includes 22 single-piston engine Cirrus SR22’s and 5 twin-jet Embraer Phenom 100E, which are valued at more than $39 million dollars at list prices. 

The aircraft, which will be delivered starting in 2017, will be used by cadet pilots as they train to become fully-qualified commercial pilots for Emirates. This order will allow Emirates Flight Training Academy cadet pilots to receive, for the first time, 100% of their training in Dubai. Previously, cadet pilots underwent a majority of their training at a variety of locations overseas. In addition to consolidating education into one location in the Middle East, the new aircraft order also ensures cadets will have access to the youngest training fleet in the world. 

Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, said: “Industry forecasts show growth in the need of pilots particularly over the next few years. The Middle East and the Gulf region will have the highest demand for pilots to support its expansion and introduction of new aircraft. The Emirates Flight Training Academy is our investment and response to this pressing need. The academy will offer training programmes using the latest available technology and advanced aircraft. Our decision to purchase these new aircraft for training underscores our commitment to equip the Academy, as well as the aviation industry with the infrastructure needed to produce a highly-skilled pilot workforce. While the biggest beneficiary of this programme is Emirates, it’s our plan to offer the programme to external candidates around the world.” 

The Emirates Flight Training Academy will initially focus on Emirates’ existing cadet pilot programme for UAE nationals, with the aim to expand intake to other candidates in the future. 

Once accepted into the cadet programme, students will be provided on campus accommodation and will undergo rigorous ground training. After completing this component of their education, they will begin their in-flight training on the Cirrus SR22 aircraft to learn basic commercial piloting skills. Cadets will then advance to the Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft to obtain their twin engine jet rating and their Commercial Pilot License on a multi-engine aircraft with Instrument Rating, and frozen Airline Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL). 

In traditional cadet programmes, students move from single-engine piston aircraft to twin-engine piston aircraft before transitioning to jet airplanes. With the Emirates Flight Training Academy, students move from the single-engine piston Cirrus SR22 directly to the jet-powered Embraer Phenom 100E. This eliminates an extra step in becoming a commercial pilot and gives cadet pilots an enhanced curriculum during single engine training, as well as more experience flying jet aircraft before being trained as an official Emirates pilot. Overall, the programme including ground school, flying and simulator training lasts three and a half years. 

Cirrus SR22

As the backbone of the Emirates Flight Training Academy fleet, the Cirrus SR22 aircraft has a modern composite airframe; two large 12” flight displays; a flight management system keypad controller and an integrated engine indication and crew alerting system. The aircraft also includes the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™, a safety device that can lower the aircraft to the ground via parachute in an emergency situation. 

Each aircraft, which costs almost $700,000 at list prices, will be equipped with a Continental IO-550-N 310 HP Engine with the ability to fly up to 1,207 nautical miles (1,943 kilometres) at speeds of 183 knots (340Km/H) TAS True Air Speed. The aircraft will be assembled at the Cirrus manufacturing facility in Duluth, Minnesota. The Emirates order includes 22 aircraft, with the option to purchase an additional 10 in the future. 

“Our partnership with the Emirates Flight Training Academy demonstrates immense forward momentum within the global aviation industry,” stated Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder and CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. “The Emirates’ approach and dedication to innovative pilot training pairs perfectly with the advanced technology and performance of the Cirrus SR22. When a safe and sophisticated aircraft fleet meets safety and sophistication in training, it means we are not only supporting one academy’s programming, we are strengthening the entire infrastructure and network of aviation. It’s an honour to be a part of it.” 

Embraer Phenom 100E

Emirates’ order of five Embraer Phenom 100E represents the largest in the aircraft type’s history to be used for flight training purposes. As one of the world’s most technologically-advanced jets, the Phenom 100E includes three interchangeable glass displays; state-of-the-art avionics; smart automation systems; and a flight management system with flight planning capabilities. 

Each aircraft, which are valued at $4.8 million at list prices, will be equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW617F-E engines and are capable at flying up to 1,178 nautical miles (2,182 kilometres) in a single journey at speeds of 390 knots (710Km/H) TAS True Air Speed. The aircraft will be assembled at the Embraer facility in Melbourne, Florida. The Emirates order includes five aircraft, with the option to purchase five more in the future. 

“Emirates’ dedicated flight training centre offers one of the industry’s most innovative and advanced airline pilot training programmes,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets.  “We are pleased to be one of Emirates' key partners by providing them the jet training aircraft adopted to fulfil their future demand for highly skilled professional airline pilots.”

Emirates Flight Training Academy Facility

Each of the newly-ordered aircraft will be based at the Emirates Flight Training Academy facility, which is currently under construction at Al Maktoum International-Dubai World Central (DWC). Once completed, the Academy will be able to accommodate up to 500 cadet pilots at a time. 

The facility will include ground school classrooms, ab initio flight training, ground-based simulators, a dedicated runway, maintenance centre,  housing accommodations for men and women, a gym, football pitch, tennis courts and a mosque. The first phase of construction – which includes the ground training facility and runway – is expected to be completed in 2016, with the remainder of the facility to be completed shortly after. 

Editor’s Note: Media are invited to attend a signing ceremony during the Dubai Air Show on 8 November at 2pm featuring Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer; Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder and CEO of Cirrus Aircraft; and Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. Immediately following the ceremony, media will be invited to tour the aircraft, which will be located opposite of the Emirates chalet at stand A31.