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100th Cadet Pilot joins Etihad Flying Programme

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Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has welcomed the 100th cadet pilot to its innovative and expanding flying programme.

Shareefa Al Bloushi, from Abu Dhabi, is a member of Etihad’s tenth group of cadets which recently started the 18 month training programme at the Horizon Flight Academy in Al Ain. She is also the sixth female Emirati cadet pilot to join the programme, and eighth female overall.

The Etihad Airways cadet pilot programme was launched in June 2007 with the first group of cadet pilots, who graduated from the course in February 2009, now training and flying aboard the airline’s Airbus A320 fleet.

Captain Richard Hill, Etihad Airways’ chief operations officer, said, “The recruitment, training and development of cadet pilots is of the utmost importance to Etihad Airways and an integral part of maintaining our position as a leading global airline.

“To reach the milestone of 100 cadet pilots is a great achievement and we offer Shareefa, our 100th cadet pilot, and her new colleagues our best wishes as they start training.”

Shareefa Al Bloushi is a member of Etihad’s expanding female pilot community which currently includes 15 female first officers and cadet pilots within its ranks. This figure is expected to double during the next 12 months.

Shereefa Al Bloushi said, “I am extremely proud to be a part of the Etihad Airways female pilot community and to be learning alongside other women pilots from across the world.

“Whilst the programme is rigorous and demanding it will ensure that I have the best training and development for when I graduate and become a fully-qualified Etihad pilot.”

Etihad also recently welcomed two British female cadet pilots to its flying programme. Rose Omari, who is 23 years old, and 19 year-old Rebecca Hillyard are currently also training at the Horizon Flight Academy in Al Ain with 13 male colleagues.

Rebecca Hillyard said, “When I heard about the Etihad Airways cadet pilot programme and the training facilities the airline is developing in Abu Dhabi I knew I wanted to join.

“The airline is focused on providing the best training and development for its pilots and I look forward to qualifying next year and join the ranks as an Etihad pilot.”

In order to gain the frozen Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) the cadet pilots have to complete 750 hours of classroom tuition and 205 hours flight training in single and multi-engine aircraft.

During this time they also have to pass the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority’s theoretical knowledge and flying exams.

Etihad Airways’ fleet will expand to 52 narrow and wide body aircraft by the end of 2009 and this will grow to 65 by the end of 2012.

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