Etihad Cadet Pilot Programme

    UAE national aged 18 – 29?

   Join Etihad Airways’ renowned Cadet Pilot 

   Programme and you won’t  just learn to fly – you’ll help your country soar.

   Applications now open.

   Join our Cadet Pilot Programme

   Join our renowned Cadet Pilot Programme and you won’t just learn to fly

   You’ll help your country soar.

A commitment to the future

The Etihad Airways National Cadet Pilot Programme underscores Etihad’s commitment to investing in the development of Emirati talent, building a skilled workforce in the UAE and driving the aviation sector forward.

And we have a record of achievements since the programme’s inception in June 2007.

More than 300 Emirati men and women have successfully graduated from the programme and started their flying careers. Of these, 239 are now First Officers, 44 are Second Officers and 60 are Captains.

And one of our graduates, Captain Aisha Al Mansoori, became the first female Emirati commercial captain.

Ready to let your career take flight?

Ready to Soar?

We’ve relaunched our Cadet Pilot Programme for 2024 as part of our commitment to nurturing Emirati talent and empowering the aviation industry in the UAE.

If you’re a UAE national aged between 18 – 29 are ambitious and ready to soar, we want to hear from you!  

We’ll help you get your wings, but you will need A:

  • Passion for aviation
  • Strong command of written and spoken English
  • High school diploma or higher with passing grades in maths and                physics
  • Minimum IELTS score of 5.5 or TOEFL of 510
  • Completed or be exempt from UAE National Service

What is the Etihad Airways Cadet Pilot Programme?

Our two-year Cadet Pilot Programme will be conducted in Abu Dhabi and Spain. Courses are compliant with aviation regulations and encompass a blend of theoretical and practical training.

Before being accepted, you’ll have to pass a series of assessments, including tests in English, maths, and physics, as well as psychometric evaluations and in-person interviews. You’ll also undergo a medical examination as required by the GCAA, the regulatory body of civil aviation  in the UAE.

Programme phases

  • Why get your wings with Etihad Airways?

    It’s an exciting time at Etihad Airways. Over the next seven years, we expect to see passenger numbers triple, our number of aircraft to double and our network to expand to more than 125 global destinations.

    As part of that ambitious growth strategy, we aim to build a crew of young and talented pilots who share our pride in being part of Etihad, the national airline of the UAE.



  • Why get your wings with Etihad Airways?

    Through our Cadet Pilot Programme in Abu Dhabi, our goal is to equip aspiring pilots with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in this dynamic.

    Our programme has one of the shortest durations in the industry, and our practical flight training is conducted at FTE Jerez in Spain – one of Europe’s top flying academies.

    1. Fast-track to the skies
    2. State-of-the-art training facilities
    3. Comprehensive curriculum
    4. Competitive pay during the programme

Got what it takes? Here’s what to do next

If you think you’ve got what it takes to join our Cadet Pilot Programme, submit your application by [May 30th, 2024].

When you’re invited to the assessment day, we’ll share everything you need to know about how to prepare to make sure the day goes smoothly.


1 .What qualifications do I need to apply?

To apply for our Cadet Pilot Programme, you must be a UAE national aged 18 – 29 years old and have:

  • A strong command of written and spoken English
  • A high school diploma or higher with passing grades in maths and physics
  • A minimum IELTS score of 5.5 or TOEFL of 510
  • Completed or be exempt from UAE National Service (male applicants only)


2. How do I apply?

To apply, submit an application

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll be asked to complete an online assessment. Successful applications will then have to pass a physics and math test before proceeding to our in-person assessment centers. If you pass the assessment centre phases, you’ll receive an offer to join the programme, subject to providing supporting documents. When your documents have been verified, you can start learning to get your wings!


3. Do you accept ILETS or TOEFL and what score do I need?

Both ILETS or TOEFL are accepted. You must have a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 (Academic) or TOEFL of 510.


4. Where does the assessment take place and what does it involve?

In-person assessment centres are held at the Etihad Airways Training Academy in Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi. Assessments include a COMPASS™ test, in-person panel interviews and group exercises.

You’ll also have to pass a physics and math test before proceeding to our in-person assessment centres.


5. What can I do to prepare for the assessment?

We’ll send you some helpful guidelines about the COMPASS™ test and other assessments to help you prepare in advance.


6. Can I track the status of my application?

We’ll email you after each phase of your application and assessment to give you status update and let you know whether you’re proceeding to the next stage. Due to the large number of applications we receive, we will not be providing detailed feedback.


7. My application wasn’t successful. Can I re-apply in the future?

Yes! We’d love to receive another application from you. You can re-apply for the programme six months after receiving the final status of your application.


8. Am I guaranteed a job after I graduate?

Yes! If you successfully complete the programme, including all assessments, you will graduate as a Second Officer under training with Etihad Airways. When you complete your training, you’ll then be promoted to a First Officer.


9. I’m an experienced pilot with a CPL licence. Can I fast-track my training?

If you have a CPL license, let us know when you apply to join the programme. We’ll assess each application on a case-by-case basis.


10 .Can I leave the programme after I’ve started?

Depending on when you decide to leave the programme, you may incur some fees to cover the cost of your training. This will be clearly detailed in your offer letter. Please read it carefully before accepting a place on the programme.