DUBAI, UAE, 6 June 2024: Emirates, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Airbus have joined forces to deliver an enhanced Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA) programme for the A350-type rating as the airline prepares to deliver 65 A350s by mid-2024. 

An initial cohort of 256 pilots will be trained in the new course at Emirates Training College in Dubai starting in July 2024.  

From left to right: Capt Stéphan Labrucherie, Airbus Head of Flight Training Worldwide, Mikail Houari, President Africa & Middle East, Capt. Bader Al Marzooqi, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Flight Training, Yann Reiner, IATA Head Training and Licensing and Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vic president, Operations, Safety and Security.

The advanced pilot training programme uses the CBTA training methodology, which combines IATA’s principles and documentation with Emirates’ operational expertise and resources and Airbus’ over 10 years of CBTA training experience on the A350.

Driven by pilot competency and behaviour, the A350 CBTA programme utilises the proven CBTA training philosophy, which allows instructors to assess the pilots’ training and seek immediate improvements in their performance. The programme will run in two phases and include 20 days of simulator training and evaluation in 15 separate sessions.

“With this programme, Emirates’ pilots receive in-house competency-based training with highly qualified instructors, equipping them with world-class capabilities to support the airline’s global operations. The tailored CBTA programme for the A350 supports integrating the new aircraft into our fleet, with 1,000 pilots set to complete the A350-type rating course. This latest initiative is part of Emirates’ commitment to deliver the highest standards of service and comfort while supporting our operational growth and expansion,” said  Emirates Senior Vice President Flight Training Bader Al Marzooqi.

“Combining the expertise of Emirates, Airbus and IATA to design and deliver A350-type rating training is a unique opportunity. Our joint aim is to fully utilise the benefits of CBTA to qualify the pilots on the A350 most efficiently and effectively as possible. And by doing it together, all three organisations will also gain valuable experience that can strengthen their other training activities,” said IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security Nick Careen

“The A350 is a state-of-the-art aircraft requiring equally advanced training solutions. Our partnership with IATA and Emirates ensures that Emirates’ pilots receive the most comprehensive and effective training, supporting the smooth entry into service of the A350 worldwide,” said  Airbus Head of Flight Training Worldwide Stéphan Labrucherie.

Emirates is preparing to enter service with its new A350 through the A350-type rating programme. In addition to pilot training, other parts of the airline, including the service delivery and engineering teams, are also working on preparing for the debut of A350 operations.


Gaining the benefits and efficiencies of CBTA training is a longstanding industry objective. For flight crew, IATA supports this with its CBTA Guide for Flight Crew Training, which is fully aligned with ICAO CBTA standards and includes specific libraries for airlines/operators and training organisations.

IATA also focuses on CBTA training in support of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The IATA CBTA Center supports organisations across the aviation industry, including operators, Civil Aviation Authorities, and training organisations, in developing the capabilities and resources for dangerous goods training programs. It also offers CBTA training specialised in various airline functions, from ground handlers to passenger agents, load planning, crew, and others.

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