Etihad Airways to Establish Etihad Flight College and Acquire Horizon Flight Academy Fixed Wing Assets
Sunday, 18 May 2014
The assets to be acquired include 13 Cessna 172SP Skyhawk aircraft, three Diamond DA42NG aircraft, two flight training simulators and Horizon’s hangar facilities at Al Ain International Airport.
Etihad Airways announced today it is establishing Etihad Flight College, a pilot training facility. Subject to regulatory approval the Abu Dhabi based airline will acquire the fixed wing training division from Horizon International Flight Academy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company.

While, the remaining rotary wing division will be Horizon International Flight Academy area of focus.

Based in Al Ain, Horizon provided helicopter (rotary wing) training programs since 2003, and airplane (fixed wing) training since 2007,  providing Private pilot’s license (PPL), commercial pilot’s license (CPL) and airline transport pilot license (ATPL).

Horizon currently has 210 trainees enrolled in its flight training programs and is the training provider for Etihad Airways’ cadet pilots for the last seven years, while airline currently employs over 1,600 pilots.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer, said: “The establishment of the Etihad Flight College is a natural part of our strategy to produce the best pilots to support our rapidly expanding fleet. It also helps underpin the growth and development of the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi.

“We are committed to developing a world-class facility which combines new and best practice training programs with high calibre instructors. The training facility will enhance the career opportunities in aviation, especially for UAE nationals.

“Our continued success is driven by our people who are committed to working together as a team. The new flight instructors and support staff have an important role to play in supporting the continued growth of the airline, ensuring that there is a consistent stream of well trained pilots coming into the organization.”

Hareb Al Dhaheri, Horizon International Flight Academy Chief Executive Officer, added: “We are proud to have grown the UAE’s pilot training initiative into a successful company. This transaction benefits both Abu Dhabi companies, and allows Horizon to focus on developing its future core business of delivering world class helicopter pilots for all of our Rotary Wing customers.”

All fixed wing flight instructors and some support staff currently employed by Horizon will transfer to the Etihad Flight College

Etihad Flight College will introduce the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), The MPL training program, the first airline-dedicated professional pilot licence adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), will be developed and delivered by Etihad Airways’ operations team.

To-date around 250 graduates have already registered for the MPL course, with the first course scheduled to commence later this year.