The travel sector is flying again. And as strong travel demand is giving airlines a financial boost, it is also fueling the need to hire more pilots and cabin staff. To tackle this, Emirates announced that it would build an advanced training facility for pilots, with six full-flight simulator bays for the airline’s upcoming Airbus A350 and Boeing 777X aircraft. The $135 million new pilot training center will ensure Emirates’ readiness to commence its pilot training ahead of the delivery of its new aircraft fleet starting in 2024.
The training facility, which will span 5,882 square meters, is scheduled to open in March 2024.
“The building will be equipped with the latest, technologically advanced simulators to provide the best training for pilots while using solar power to reduce energy consumption,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
According to Emirates’ chief operating officer Adel Al Redha, demand for air travel has outperformed forecasts, fueling the airline’s intentions to put back into service more Airbus A380s and rebuild its network to pre-pandemic levels.
By the middle of 2023, the airline plans to hire 400 pilots and 5,000 to 6,000 cabin workers, filling all of its training facilities, he stated. Its current staff of 4,500 pilots and 17,500 cabin workers will grow.
The ability to set up and customize the cockpit environment utilizing customized devices as part of the pilot training module and upload the data to the Full Flight Simulator (FFS) before starting their training session would also benefit pilot candidates. This idea aims to reduce the trainee’s preparation time within the simulator, aid in maintaining attention and help them make the most of the training period.
Reportedly, Emirates’ current training institutions in Dubai will be able to increase their capacity for pilot training by 54% annually with the addition of the new structure. The pilots will have more options and opportunities to perfect their flying abilities thanks to 17 full flight simulator bays with a capacity for more than 130,000 training hours annually spread out across the airline’s training facilities.