Ethiopian Airlines has inaugurated it's the refurbished aviation academy, rebuilt at a cost of $100 million. The rebuilt academy, the airline said on Sunday, will increase its annual intake capacity to 4,000 students.
The newly refurbished academy has education centres, with five strategic categories of studies for the pilot training school, aviation maintenance training school, commercial and ground service school and leadership school.
[It's] where we can train the continent's youth and prepare them for 21st century African aviation development
It is also equipped with the B-777, B-787, B-737, B-767/757 and the Q-400 flight simulators, which enables the academy to offer full type rating trainings for pilots as an authorised training organisation.
At the inauguration event on Sunday, Prime Minister Hailemaraim Desalegn thanked the airline for "creating tens of thousands of high quality jobs for Ethiopians and African young men and women".
Late last month, 14 pilots, including nine trainee pilots from Rwanda, three of them female, graduated from the academy. With the opening of the new academy centre, Ethiopian Airlines hopes to train more pilots from the continent.
Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines group chief executive officer, said the academy "is positioning itself to be the catalyst leader in aviation training technology in supporting the African Union to realise its vision 2063".
"We are proud to be in a position to avail the latest and next generation aviation technology training machines and facilities, where we can train the continent's youth and prepare them for 21st century African aviation development," he said.
The academy, a full ICAO Trinnair Plus member, has been accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as an authorised training centre (ATC). It was also recognised as an Airline Training Services Provider of the Year in 2014 by AFRAA.
On Sunday, the airline, the largest airline in Africa, also said it will soon expand the development of other departments, which include a new cargo terminal, expected to be operational towards the end of 2016, and a four star hotel, which will be built on a 40,000sqm near Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport.