World Pilots’ Day: Emirates Celebrates the Inspiring Journeys of Its Pilots

World Pilots’ Day is celebrated on April 26 every year. Dubai-based Airline Emirates celebrates the inspiring journeys of its pilots by recognising and honouring its pilots’ hard work and dedication, which have been instrumental in the airline’s success.

Recounting How It All Started…

Emirates Plane
© Photo by Jeffry Surianto @Pexels

When Emirates first launched its operations in 1985, the pilots were part of the two wet-leased aircraft from Pakistan International Airlines. Thirty-eight years later, the Dubai carrier can now boast almost 4,000 pilots from more than 100 nationalities, flying the airline’s Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft to over 160 destinations across six continents.

Four hundred of the pilots are proud Emirati nationals. The first Emirati cadet pilot joined the airline in 1986 and retired as Captain in 2006 after a fruitful career of 20 years. Many pilots have also grown with the airline over almost four decades of operations.

The airline recounts that 1,380 of its pilots have been with them for 10-19 years, 173 have served between 20-29 years, and 5 have completed 30 years. Emirates’ two longest-serving pilots joined the airline on the same day in 1989, serving for 34 years and counting.

How It is Going

As travel demand surges, the airline is more prepared than ever to strengthen its network and grow its pilot community with upcoming recruitment drives. The airline has been on this drive since the beginning of 2022. In the space of one year, the carrier has welcomed over 900 new pilots on its three recruitment programmes – Direct Entry Captains, Accelerated Command, and First Officers and it has no plans to slow down or back out at this time.

Emirates prepares to take delivery of its Airbus A350s in mid-2024 and is prepared to recruit more pilots into its team.

Emirates is Offering More Opportunities to Pilots

© Photo by Kelly @Pexels

After a successful pilot recruitment roadshow in Hong Kong and Singapore in March and April, next on the airline’s recruitment agenda is an online information session which will hold on Wednesday, May 10 2023, at 1 pm, Dubai time.

The airlines stated in a press release that the phase of recruitment would happen under three categories:

A380 Direct Entry Captain 

This programme is for technically proficient commanders with a minimum of 3,000 hours of recent command on Airbus fly-by-wire wide body such as the A330, A340, A350, and A380, and a minimum of 7,000 hours of total flying time on multi-crew, multi-engine aircraft, in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria.

Accelerated Command Programme

They are primarily designed for experienced Airbus Captains who currently command narrow-body aircraft on regional routes and wish to dial up their careers by working with a global airline brand. Captains with at least 1,500 hours of Airbus fly-by-wire experience will join Emirates as A380 First Officers on an enhanced salary package.

They are eligible for an accelerated command upgrade after at least 700 flying hours and two successful recurrent checks. Typically, Emirates pilots achieve these milestones in a little over a year as they pass a mix of ultra-long, long- and short-haul routes.

First Officer

Candidates for First Officer roles must have multi-engine, multi-crew aircraft experience, a valid International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), and a minimum of 2,000 hours on 20-tonne maximum take-off weight aircraft.

Interested pilots can click here to get registered. To get more info on entry requirements, click here.

Emirates is known for its high training and safety standards, and the airline invests heavily in its pilots’ training and development. The airline’s state-of-the-art training facilities include a flight simulator centre that provides realistic training scenarios for pilots and a training academy that offers a range of courses and programs to help pilots improve their skills and knowledge.

World Pilots’ Day is celebrated on April 26 every year to honour pilots’ contributions to the aviation industry. The day marks the anniversary of the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic by British pilot Captain John Alcock and navigator Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown in 1919.

Have you waited for World Pilots’ Day to celebrate a pilot or pilots you have met on your air travels? The comment is open for tag and celebrates these heroes of the skies.

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Chiamaka Okoh
Chiamaka Okoh
Aviation Reporter - Chiamaka is an experienced writer and copyeditor with strong skills in SEO and search optimisation. Her writing adventures have cut across various niches like technology, entertainment, product reviews/recommendation (affiliate marketing), and celebrity lifestyles (biographies, net worth) which are targeted at both foreign and local readers.