Emirates 'rolls out red carpet' to hire A380 pilots as more superjumbos return to service

Airline is holding pilot roadshows in Mexico City, Panama City and Bogota next month

Emirates is inviting seasoned pilots to join its direct entry captains programme to fly its Airbus A380s. Photo: Emirates
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Dubai airline Emirates is "rolling out the red carpet" to hire pilots to fly its Airbus A380 aircraft as it seeks to return more of its superjumbos to service in the coming months amid "exceptional" travel demand across its network.

The airline is scheduling an online information session for pilots and their families on October 4. They can also attend upcoming open days held in various cities next month, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Emirates will hold pilot roadshows in Mexico City on October 13 and October 14, in Panama City on October 15 and October 16 and in Bogota on October 17 and October 18, according to its website.

"The airline is now inviting applications from seasoned commanders to join its direct entry captains programme for its fleet of Airbus A380s," Emirates said.

The carrier is currently flying about 90 of its 116 A380s, with plans to add more of its flagship aircraft into the operating fleet in the coming months.

Watch: Emirates airline's A380 plane gets a makeover

Watch: Emirates airline's A380 plane gets a makeover

“We need to get 20 to 30 in the air as soon as we can, but we will get there”, the airline's president Tim Clark said in May.

The carrier is facing issues returning the remaining A380s into service as they are awaiting maintenance and overhaul after they were grounded in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said at the time.

The airline is likely to recover to its pre-pandemic network in the summer of next year after returning all its A380s to the skies, Mr Clark said.

In July, the Emirates Group said it is planning a “mammoth” global recruitment drive in 180 roles as it boosts its workforce for its next major growth phase.

The company is seeking to hire cabin crew, pilots, engineers, IT professionals and customer service agents at both Emirates airlines and dnata, it said at the time.

Eligibility criteria

In its latest call for pilots, Emirates said its direct entry captains programme is for technically skilled captains with a minimum of 3,000 hours of recent command on Airbus fly-by-wire wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A330, A340, A350 and A380.

Candidates must have a minimum of 7,000 hours of total flying time on multi-crew, multi-engine aircraft, in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria.

The new hires will join a 4,200 strong flight crew group, including 1,515 A380 pilots. The airline is also scheduled to take delivery of its first Airbus A350s in mid-2024 and its Boeing 777-9s in 2025.

Emirates, which has a pilot training facility housing 10 full-flight simulators, will open its latest $135 million high-tech pilot training facility in March 2024.

The 63,300 square foot facility will increase pilot training capacity by 54 per cent and house six more full-flight simulators, including for the Airbus A350s and Boeing 777-9s.

In the past five months, 172 new pilots joined Emirates' three recruitment programmes – direct entry captains, accelerated command and first officers.

Pilot benefits

Emirates pilots receive a tax-free salary, accommodation, education allowance, and dental, medical and life insurance.

The basic salary for direct entry captains is Dh44,385 ($12,084) based on an average of 85 hours per month, according to Emirates' website. They also receive Dh730 for each block hour above their monthly target.

They also get chauffeur-driven transport to and from work, laundry services, 42 days of annual leave, confirmed business class flight tickets for annual leave, concessional cargo, discounted travel benefits for friends and family, and other perks, the airline said.

Captains can go on to become management pilots, recruitment pilots, technical pilots, standards captains, training captains, audit captains, examiners and instructors.

About 40 per cent of the carrier's pilots have been with Emirates for more than 10 years.

The two longest-serving pilots, with more than 34 years of service, joined the airline on the same day in 1989.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 3:27 PM