Emirates Flight Training Academy is to acquire 27 aircraft from Cirrus and Embraer in a deal valued at nearly $40 million.

The order for 22 SR22 piston-singles and five Phenom 100E entry-level business jets, plus five options, will help to position the Emirates Airline subsidiary as a leading provider of commercial pilot training in the Middle East, it says. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017.

Scheduled to open next year at Al Maktoum International-Dubai World Central, the flight academy has been established by the Dubai flag carrier to address the growing demand for crew training in the region.

“This order will allow Emirates Flight Training Academy cadet pilots to receive, for the first time, 100% of their training in Dubai," the company says. “Previously, cadet pilots underwent a majority of their training at a variety of locations overseas.”

Adel Al Redha, Emirates executive vice-president and chief operations officer says the company’s decision to build the new academy was based on “industry forecasts”. These predict a growing requirement for pilot training, particularly in the Middle East and Gulf region over the next few years to support the expansion of local carriers. "The Emirates Flight Training Academy is our investment and response to this pressing need," says Al Redha.

He adds that while its parent airline will be the "the biggest beneficiary" of the new venture – which is designed to house 500 cadets – the company plans to "offer the programme to external candidates around the world".

Emirates says the course spans three years, starting with a ground-based component. Students will then begin their in-flight training on the SR22, to build basic commercial piloting skills, before moving on to the 100E for twin-engined and commercial pilot ratings.

Source: Flight International