Etihad Airways has welcomed its first class of Emirati trainees to its new technical engineering development programme, the latest element within the airline’s growing Emiratisation scheme.Following an introduction to Etihad Airways and the aviation industry the 17 trainees will spend the next two months studying a multitude of disciplines including mathematics, physics as well as advanced aerodynamics and aviation legislation.
Once the first phase is complete, the trainees will then fly to Australia where they will spend the majority of the two year development programme at the prestigious Aviation Australia maintenance training centre in Brisbane, Queensland.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said, “Etihad is proud of its Emiratisation programmes which until now have included cadet pilot and graduate schemes.
“The new technical engineering development programme is particularly exciting. The new Emirati trainees will benefit from world class international training which will be put to great to use within the UAE and Etihad Airways.”
The trainee engineers were chosen by Etihad following extensive assessments during November and December 2007 which included comprehensive ability and aptitude assessments as well as personality profiles.
Once they have qualified, the Emirati engineer trainees will join Etihad’s technical division which is based at the airline’s new dedicated aircraft line maintenance facility at Abu Dhabi airport.
The AED 3 million facility is equipped with the latest IT technology and equipment which is used for all day-to-day technical line maintenance on Etihad aircraft including hydraulic, structural and instrument checks.
Fatima Saleh Befaraj, one of the two female trainees, said, “I am extremely proud to be joining Etihad Airways as one of its first-ever female trainee engineers. I am looking forward enormously to the training programme and becoming a fully-qualified technical engineer for the UAE’s national airline.”
The first class of Etihad Airways’ engineer trainees consists of: Suood Abdulla Al Neaimi, Humaid Yahya Al Shamsi, Loulua Abdulla Mohamed, Ali Jaber Al Shaer, Fatima Saleh Befaraj, Saleh Salem Al Braiki, Shehab Ahmed Al Shehhi, Tariq Al Sayed Waheed, Sayed Abubaker Al Aidarous, Ali Majed Al Ameri, Omar Mohammed Al Zamr, Ali Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Ali Malalla Al Khamiri, Mohamed Ibrahim Hedayat, Salem Abdulla Al Shehhi, Mohammed Hasan Al Marzouqi and Suhail Salem Mahfoodh.
Etihad’s Emiratisation programme has grown considerably since it was launched in January 2007 with more than 45 UAE nationals joining the cadet pilot and graduate programme.
The cadet pilot programme currently has two classes within its ranks and a third will begin shortly. To become a first officer co-pilot a cadet learns to fly in single and multi-engine aircraft, as well as in one of Etihad’ state-of-the-art simulators.
Etihad welcomed its first ever class of Emirati nationals to the airline’s new graduate management development programme in October last year. In addition to classroom-based learning, each graduate trainee spends time in a variety of Etihad departments. Not only does this give them an insight into Etihad, it also helps to determine which career path the trainee will take once the programme has been completed.