Italian airline Alitalia has selected 24 young participants aged between 18 and 27 years to attend the joint Alitalia-Etihad Airways Cadet Pilot program.
More than 550 candidates applied to join the two-year training course, which will take place at Alitalia’s training centers in Italy, and at Etihad Airways’ training facilities in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Upon successful completion of the course, cadets will receive necessary licenses to become pilots at CityLiner, Alitalia’s regional airline, which operates a fleet of 20 aircraft including five Embraer 190 and 15 Embraer 175 regional jets. New pilots will commit to flying for Alitalia for a minimum period of 36 months.
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Alitalia’s Chairman, said: “Training and investing in young people is a commitment which Etihad Airways shares with Alitalia, right from the very first day of this unique partnership, adding value to the commercial relationship between the two companies.”
The first eight cadet pilots left for Abu Dhabi last week, where their initial training will take place.
The group of 24 participants was selected by Alitalia after completing an extensive set of aptitude, psychological and physical tests.
The start of each training course will be staggered over the coming weeks, and by the end of 2015, all 24 cadet pilots will have commenced their training.
Upon successful completion of the course, scheduled for summer 2017, Alitalia will employ the new pilots under long-term contract.
To assist cadets with the cost of pilot training, Alitalia is making a contribution to each trainee, investing a total of over €1 million.
In preparation for the addition of new wide-body aircraft to the Alitalia fleet, the airline, together with Etihad Airways, is currently in the process of planning more Cadet Pilot programs to meet future growth and demand.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “By ensuring that these talented cadets are exposed to the best pilot training at our world-class facilities in Italy and in the UAE, we guarantee our continued access to a pool of highly skilled aviators well into the future.”
In addition to the Cadet Pilot program, Alitalia and Etihad Airways also promote similar training initiatives for graduates and engineers, which to date have welcomed 47 participants in both Italy and the UAE.