If ever there was a hopping flight to Abu Dhabi, this was it.
Etihad Flight College’s first Embraer Phenom 100E trainer aircraft flew 12,500 miles over four continents and 17 cities before reaching the college’s hub at Al Ain.
Etihad Flight College, a subsidiary of Etihad Airways, took delivery of a new Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft after it made a 10-day voyage from the manufacturer’s hub in Brazil to the college headquarters.
The aircraft started its journey from Embraer’s base in São José dos Campos in Brazil, and flew via two Caribbean islands, Florida, Virginia, Maine, Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, Belfast, Amsterdam, Italy, Greece, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, before reaching its destination.
“Our flight college is a world-class training facility, producing a constant stream of well-trained, highly skilled pilots – the majority of whom are Emirati – for the growing operations of Etihad Airways,” said Philip Chandler, Etihad Flight College’s general manager. “The Phenom 100E is an exciting new asset for Etihad Flight College. The airline-grade technology, performance and reliability make the Phenom an ideal initial training aircraft to prepare our students for line operations.”
The twin jet training plane will be in service at the college from next month, according to a statement from Etihad, which owns the college.
A second plane will arrive at the flight college later this month and another two jets will be delivered in early 2017.
The Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft will be used to teach students on the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) course. MPL is an innovative competency-based approach to flying training using multi-engine aircraft..
Etihad announced the purchase of the four Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft in June last year.
Once the four new aircraft are delivered, the college’s fleet will reach 22 planes, which includes 10 Cessna 172SP Skyhawk, six Diamond DA42NG and two Eextra300 aircraft.
The college currently has 186 cadet pilots in its training programmes, of which 122 are Emiratis.
It trains pilots for Etihad and other equity partners – such as Alitalia and Air Seychelles, of which Etihad owns a 49 per cent and 40 per cent stakes respectively.
The Abu Dhabi airline employs about 2,200 pilots and operates a fleet of 122 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. It also has approximately 204 planes on firm order.