Emirates Flight Training Academy spreads its wings

Trainees pilots in an Emirates flight simulator.
Photo Credit: Emirates

Emirates Flight Training Academy (EFTA), which was started with a focus on the national cadet pilot programme for Emirates, has evolved into a world-class training facility for trainee pilots from all over the globe.

EFTA’s Diverse Cadet Body

With a current batch consisting of 290 cadets representing 23 nationalities, including 27 women, EFTA is a melting pot of ambitious high-flyers from across the globe.

These cadets are the future of aviation, and their journey begins at the Emirates Flight Training Academy.

What started as a national cadet pilot program for Emirates has now evolved into a global training hub, welcoming aspiring pilots from all corners of the world.

EFTA’s impressive success stories speak volumes about the quality of education and training they provide. Graduates of EFTA are in high demand, with Emirates readily embracing them after rigorous recruitment processes.


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EFTA has recently integrated three brand-new Diamond aircraft into its training program, offering cadets an even more comprehensive education.

The addition of the Diamond DA42-VI light piston twin-engine aircraft has revolutionized multi-engine piston training, setting EFTA apart from other flight training academies that typically limit training to just one or two aircraft types.

Rising Demand for Aviation Careers

Post-pandemic, careers in the flight deck have seen a remarkable resurgence. Salaries are on the rise, airlines are fast-tracking career paths, and the demand for travel is booming.

In fact, according to Oliver Wyman’s latest research, the gap between the supply and demand for pilots is expected to reach 24,000 by 2026. It’s a golden age for aspiring pilots.

Emirates launched EFTA in 2017 with a mission to train both UAE nationals and international students with no prior flying experience.

All EFTA graduates enjoy a unique opportunity – to go through Emirates’ renowned recruitment process. This sets them on the path to a career with one of the world’s leading airlines.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

EFTA boasts cutting-edge learning technologies and a modern fleet of 29 training aircraft, including the Cirrus SR22 G6 single-engine piston, Embraer Phenom 100EV very light jet, and Diamond DA42-VI light piston twin-engine aircraft.

The academy’s 12.5 million sq.ft. facility is equipped with 36 modern classrooms, full-motion flight simulators, an independent Air Traffic Control Tower, and a dedicated 1,800m runway.

The academy’s ground school phase, spanning 52 weeks, is a testament to their commitment to excellence. Cadets benefit from state-of-the-art technology with 86″ touchscreens in every classroom, creating an interactive learning environment.

They undergo over 1,100 hours of ground-based training, accessible via digitally interconnected devices. It’s a holistic approach to learning that prepares them for the challenges of the real world.

Taking Flight

The flying phase, also spanning 52 weeks, includes training on simulators and the three types of training aircraft.

EFTA ensures cadets are well-prepared for the dynamic and demanding world of commercial aviation.

Photo Credits: Emirates

The Cadet Perspective

Here’s what two EFTA graduates, currently Emirates’ Cadet Pilots, had to say about their journey:

Thomas Saunders, Cadet Pilot at Emirates (Australian national):

“Emirates Flight Training Academy is a great route to work at the best airline in the world. Our cadet community at EFTA is very tight-knit and collaborative. The training gets the best out of us and sets us on our way to a long, enjoyable, and successful career.”

“I advise potential cadets considering a career in aviation to keep at it, enjoy the turbulence, and twists and turns as the experience builds character, and the outcome is way better than you can ever imagine!”

Jordan Engeler, Cadet Pilot at Emirates (Australian national):

“The idea of being in control of a sophisticated aircraft, navigating the skies, and experiencing the world from a unique perspective was incredibly appealing to me.”

“World-class training facilities, experienced and supportive instructors, and a diverse and inclusive community were the top three things I loved about EFTA.”

“EFTA shares these values and offers a world-class training program that aligned perfectly with my aspirations to become a highly skilled pilot.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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