Etihad Flight College, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a purchase agreement for four Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft, and options for three additional aircraft of the same model.
The deal is valued at about US$30 million, based on current list prices, if all options are exercised, and deliveries of the aircraft to Etihad Flight College will start in Q1 2016.
Based in Al Ain, the Etihad Flight College was established to train ab-initio pilots for the airline’s rapidly expanding fleet, and currently provides fixed wing training for up to 120 Emirati and international cadets annually.
The delivery of the four new Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft will bring to 20 the number of aircraft in the trainer fleet, which also includes 10 Cessna 172SP Skyhawk and six Diamond DA42NG aircraft.
“As the national airline of the UAE, it is vital for us to establish a world-class training facility to support the training and manpower development of the local Emirati workforce, while also providing a source of well-trained, highly-skilled pilots for our growing operations,” said Richard Hill, Etihad Airways’ Chief Operations Officer.
“The Phenom 100E’s airline-grade technology, performance and reliability make it an ideal initial training platform to prepare our cadets for line operations.”
“We are very pleased with the selection of the Phenom 100E by Etihad Flight College,” said Marco Túlio Pellegrini, President and CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “The Phenom 100E has proven to be the ideal aircraft for jet pilot training, delivering advanced cockpit technology, along with high performance and high reliability, at a low operating cost.”
The Etihad Flight College is the first organisation in the world to use multi-engine aircraft in the core phase of its innovative Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) training program, ensuring students are provided with the core competencies required of an airline pilot in today’s ever-changing aviation marketplace.
The MPL program focuses on relevant and airline operator-specific training, rather than the traditional model of general aviation-focused training in a generic format. It produces pilots with not only the skills to fly a modern commercial aircraft to the most exacting standards, but the competencies and attitudes required of a professional pilot as well.
Etihad Airways currently employs over 2,200 pilots and operates a fleet of 116 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with over 200 additional aircraft on firm order.