Etihad offers seconded pilots permanent career options
ATP- Arab tourism portal- Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is offering pilots seconded from partner airlines the opportunity to transfer to permanent contracts, flying the carrier’s most advanced Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
The pilot secondment programme, a part of Etihad Airways strategy for international expansion, is further evidence that the synergies delivered through the airline’s equity and non-equity partnerships also benefit the professional career paths of the partners’ highly trained pilots.
The programme began in April 2013 when the first batch of seven airberlin Boeing 737-rated First Officers arrived in Abu Dhabi to start type conversion training on the Boeing 777 at Etihad Airways’ state-of-the-art Flight Training Centre.
To date, there are almost 200 partner airline pilots seconded to Etihad Airways. This includes 52 pilots from airberlin, 41 from Alitalia, 63 from Jet Airways, 25 from City Liner, four from Darwin Airline and six from NIKI.
They have all been handpicked for their flying experience and skills.Upon joining, seconded pilots undergo an extensive training programme that lasts from three to five months.
They complete a two-week induction programme to get acquainted with Etihad Airways standard flight operating procedures.
This is followed by a three-week theoretical ground school training to gain the technical skills required to proceed to a four-week practical flight simulator training, which covers normal and non-normal as well as emergency situations.
Trainees then have to pass a simulator test to obtain their license from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority. This qualification is a prerequisite to start line training, flying with certified instructors for a minimum total period of three weeks until declared competent to perform the duties of an Etihad Airways pilot.
With Etihad Airways rapid growth and fleet expansion, pilots on secondment enjoy a much accelerated career progression path compared to other airlines. Importantly, they have the opportunity to transfer permanently to a longer-term aviation career with the UAE carrier.
The average time to command at Etihad Airways is in the range of three years while it takes at least 10 to 15 years to achieve the same position in most legacy carriers.
In addition, the UAE national airline offers a much more varied career path with opportunities for cross fleet transfers from Airbus to Boeing and narrow-body to wide-body aircraft, as well as progression to a wide range of roles like flight instructors, examiners, flight crew assessors and pilot management positions.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer, said: “Time after time, we prove that our partnership strategy is truly a winning business model.
Together with our partners, we are sharing resources, incorporating our fleet programs, aligning our staff expertise, and developing rewarding careers.
Also part of Etihad Airways pilot secondment programme, the airline sends its own pilots on placements with partner airlines to expose them to new experiences and broaden their career opportunities.
Currently the airline has four of its pilots on secondment to Air Serbia, two to Air Seychelles, one to Jet Airways, one to Etihad Regional and one to Alitalia.