Even a couple of years ago, many of us were writing off travel — as it existed as a way of life before Covid happened. Travel was never going to bounce back to its earlier avatar, the naysayers predicted, and the road to recovery would be a long and tedious one. Dubai had been exemplary even during that dark phase, where it literally rolled out a world-beating strategy to combat the general pall of gloom — and the world weariness that most people had about the sector. It was one place on earth where travel was considered safe, with the government being double quick to implement safety measures on the ground. Today, travel is back to square one… what’s more, it’s witnessing unprecedented growth all over the world. Emirates Airline, which flies to 158 destinations in 85 countries, is one of the first names that come to mind whenever there is any travel talk. The airline has now announced plans to construct a whopping $135-million, state-of-the-art pilot training facility, which will open in a year’s time: in March 2024. And with this, Emirates will increase its pilot training capacity not incrementally but by an exponential 54 per cent annually. “This $135 million investment to build a new pilot training centre will ensure Emirates’ readiness to commence its pilot training ahead of the delivery of its new aircraft fleet starting from 2024,” Emirates Airline chairman and chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum announced. “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.”
The move is yet another pointer to the forward-looking vision Dubai has to ensure that the future of travel is seamless. To accommodate the surge in travel, the airline is already considering padding up its inventory of pilots by leaps and bounds. One of the concerns that had plagued the sector was the lay-offs that happened during the pandemic; many airlines found it difficult to adjust to new post-Covid demands because they had whittled down on staff and resources. With this move, Emirates is sending out a strong message about how much it invests in the sector.
The repercussions in the overall air travel domain is also set to acquire new wings. One thing is clear: the world is gearing up to take the travel sector very seriously — which means good news all around, including new recruitments. Recently, Air India’s record deal for 470 planes from Airbus and Boeing has been an indication how there will be no letting up on passenger travel in the times to come.
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