The move comes as Airberlin, Germany’s second largest carrier, continues to work through its Turbine business turnaround program, and as Etihad Airways prepares for significant international expansion.
The recruitment transfers began in April when the first batch of six Boeing 737-rated First Officers arrived in Abu Dhabi to start type conversion training on to the Boeing 777 at Etihad Airways’ Flight Training Centre.
Upon successful completion, the six pilots will undertake line training on the airline’s global network, before being fully licensed as type-rated Boeing 777 First Officers.
Further pilot transfers will take place in the coming months, comprising Airbus A320 Captains, Airbus A320 First Officers, Airbus A330 First Officers and Boeing 777 non-rated First Officers.
Etihad Airways’ current fleet of 77 Boeing and Airbus aircraft will grow significantly this decade with more than 90 firm order aircraft scheduled for delivery.
Over the next 12 months the carrier will take delivery of four Boeing 777-300 ERs, five Airbus A320s, one Airbus A321, one Airbus A330-200 and one Airbus A330-200 freighter aircraft. Late next year, Etihad Airways will also introduce its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Etihad Airways currently employs over 1,400 pilots, and plans to recruit 1,000 more by 2020.
In other news, Etihad has announced it has entered the second phase of its strategic partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) following the launch of new Amsterdam service. The airline issued this statement:
The daily service, operated by a two cabin Airbus A330-200 and configured to carry 262 passengers with 22 in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class, was launched on May 15 and carries KLM’s KL code.
The launch of the new flights coincides with the addition of 12 new KLM destinations out of Schiphol Airport which now carry Etihad Airways EY code. KLM has also added its KL code to a further six Etihad Airways destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub.
The 12 additional destinations that Etihad Airways customers can now access through codeshare operations with KLM are Stockholm, Aberdeen, Barcelona, Bergen, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Leeds/Bradford and Madrid.
These cities join the first phase of cities served by KLM, which carry the EY code, Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo, and Stavanger.
KLM now has its KL code on six Etihad Airways’ flights to Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Khartoum, Male, Muscat and Seychelles.
These join the initial group of cities served by Etihad Airways – Colombo, Islamabad, Lahore, Melbourne, and Sydney – which also carry the KL code.
In addition to flight operations Etihad Airways has this year wet-leased a Boeing 747-400 freighter from KLM. This aircraft, with a payload capacity of 124 tons, links the two cargo hubs of Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam, and increases our capacity to Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Dhaka.
From KLM’s partner, Air France, Etihad Airways has also wet-leased an Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from now until the end of the year.
Amsterdam joins a group of 17 leading European cities that Etihad Airways flies to including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Etihad Airways’ Airbus A330-243 A6-EYE (msn 688) (Manchester City Football Club) arrives at Munich.
Video: Etihad Airways.