Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has selected 12 Italian trainees to join its engineering division and take part in a unique training opportunity on the fleet of one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world.
The trainees were chosen after extensive assessments, and once qualified, will have an opportunity to develop their careers at the aircraft line and light maintenance facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport as it continues to expand. The Graduate Engineering programs are conducted by Etihad Engineering in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Polytechnic.
The initial college-based part of the training program which takes two years, will be followed by a further two years of practical, on-the-job training. The comprehensive program will allow them to obtain a B1 (Engineering License in Airframe and Engines) or B2 (Avionics) License in Aviation Engineering Technology, accredited by both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Jeff Wilkinson, Senior Vice President of Technical for Etihad Airways, said: “This is a great opportunity for young people from our equity partners to immerse themselves within an organisation of engineering excellence. In doing so, they will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience which will enable them, and the organisation they represent, to grow personally and professionally.
“At Etihad Airways, we are always focused on the technical development of the next generation of engineers. This partnership provides a unique opportunity to enhance both individual and organisational expertise.
“With over 200 aircraft representing the cutting edge of aeronautical technological advancement on order, I can think of no better place for young enthusiastic engineers to learn and develop in their chosen profession.”
Mariano Paradiso, team leader of the trainees, said: “The program provides an opportunity to work on one of the most advanced aircraft fleets in the world so I was keen to be involved. I was delighted to be selected and am learning about some of the latest aircraft technology in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 aircraft as they are added to the Etihad Airways fleet.”
The UAE and Italy already share strong links through a partnership between Etihad Airways and Alitalia, with the airlines acting as the official global carriers for Expo Milano 2015. The carriers have played a key role in bringing international visitors to the event, with an estimated eight million attendees travelling to the conference by air.
The training opportunity is an extension of the close working relationship between the two nations and is providing development opportunities for young Italians in the Middle East. The UAE is already Italy’s top trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa region, and is home to more than 10,000 Italian citizens, 300 Italian companies and 390 Italian trade agencies.
Etihad Airways currently operates daily services between Abu Dhabi and Milan, and combined with Alitalia, offers double-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Rome. In addition, Etihad Cargo currently operates four freighter flights per week between Abu Dhabi and Milan Malpensa.