DALLAS — Emirates (EK) is investing US$135m in a new training complex to house six Full Flight Simulator Bays (FFSB) for their Boeing 777X and Airbus A350-900s. The new facility is expected to open in March 2024.
The complex will also house an Emirates Cabin Crew Training Center and an Aviation University, as well as a dedicated Flight Training Academy for junior pilots at Dubai World Central.
This investment shows the airline’s commitment to the Boeing 777X, despite previous comments from President and CEO Tim Clark that the airline could consider canceling the order. EK has 115 on firm order plus 61 options but doesn’t specify the number of Triple Seven -9s and the yet-to-be-launched -8s.
A few of the aircraft have been assembled, but are in storage until they can be prepared for delivery, which is not expected before early 2025. Clark commented last year that he was unhappy with the continual delays of the program, as regulatory agencies requested design modifications.
The lack of visibility on when the Boeing 777-9 will be certified has made EK uncertain about when to invest in the training facilities and simulators. Additionally, Airbus A350-900 deliveries were delayed by a year. EK said it would take delivery between May 2023 and 2028 when the order was announced at the 2019 Dubai Airshow.
According to today’s press release, the new training center will be ready in time to train the first batch of A350 pilots in June 2024. The first deliveries are expected around that time.
Comments from Emirates CEO
Emirates Chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a press statement, “This US$ 135 million investment to build a new pilot training center will ensure Emirates’ readiness to commence its pilot training ahead of the delivery of its new aircraft fleet starting from 2024.”
The CEO added, “The building will be equipped with the latest, technologically advanced simulators to provide the best training for pilots while using solar power to reduce energy consumption.”
Featured image: Dubai Airshow 2021 – Day 4 – A350 Flight Display. Photo: Airbus