While the Emirates Flight Training Academy hasn’t been entirely immune to the fallout from the pandemic, the pilot school continues to welcome new recruits, as Richard Schuurman finds out
Up until March 2020, Emirates was the world’s biggest long-haul airline by many metrics. It operated a fleet of 270 passenger and cargo widebody jets, flown by 4,461 captains and first officers.
Like countless other carriers all around the world, when the full effects of the pandemic became clear, the Dubai-based airline suspended the majority of its operations, parked up aircraft and sent cockpit and cabin crew home.
The company resumed cargo operations in May 2020 and scheduled passenger services to key global destinations a month later. But since then, the recovery has been a rollercoaster ride as virus mutations emerged and often unpredictable restrictions on travel continued to dampen demand. By March this year, Emirates had reduced its cockpit crew by 33.6 per cent to 2,964 and cabin crew by 34.1 per cent to 14,372.