By David Cass
Emirates personnel to benefit from a training grant of nearly half a million US dollars from the US Trade Development Agency.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, has signed an agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency under which a training grant of nearly half a million US dollars will be made available for Emirates personnel with the focus on UAE nationals. HE Marcelle M Wahba, US Ambassador to the UAE, signed the agreement, which runs until December 2005, on behalf of the agency. The grant is for US$425,000 and has been made in recognition of Emirates' commitment to buy GE-Pratt and Whitney Engine Alliance engines for its fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft. The engines ordered have a list price, including options, of approximately US$1.5 billion.Sheikh Ahmed said: "I welcome this agreement as a means of providing greater opportunities to the UAE's young professionals. I am confident that the world class technology and expertise that the Engine Alliance provides will enable Emirates to become even more successful in the future."Ambassador Wahba said: "It is an honour to sign this grant agreement with Sheikh Ahmed. This grant, in conjunction with the selection by Emirates of the Engine Alliance to power its new fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft, is another step in the strengthening of ties between Emirates and the US aerospace industry."The airline will direct this new training opportunity primarily to its UAE nationals and has already identified as suitable a number of IATA training programmes in North America and the UAE. The grant is funded by the US Government and is intended to support the development of US business opportunities around the world. Abdulaziz Al Ali, Emirates Director of Human Resources, said: "The training being offered under this Trade and Development Agency grant will help the airline to reach its goal of being a carrier with a world-wide reach."Emirates signed an agreement earlier this year with the General Electric-Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance for the GP7000 engine family to power the airline’s super jumbo Airbus A380-800 aircraft. Emirates is the main launch customer of the A380 double-decker, with 22 on firm order and 10 options. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected by September 2006.