Ethiopian Airlines announced on February 23, 2018, that it has become an Airbus A350 XWB full-flight training simulator operator. The simulator is the first of this kind in Africa.

The A350 XWB Simulator is fitted with a full electrical motion system which delivers improved performance while providing energy savings and environmental benefits. “The introduction of the A350 XWB Full-Flight Simulator is a continuation of our pioneering role in African aviation Technology,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines in a statement.

The airline states it has already invested over $125 million in the last seven years to expand and upgrade its training capabilities. It aims to “bridge the aviation skill gap in Africa”, making the continent “self-sufficient in aviation professionals”.

“It is part of our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap to be fully self-sufficient in the provision of pilot training in all the aircraft type we operate. It complements the other full-flight simulators we are already operating such as the B787, B-777, B737, B757, B767 and Q400,” added GebreMariam.

The A350 XWB simulator will be used by the training division of the airline - Ethiopian Aviation Academy, which is an ICAO designated training center that offers full range of Aviation Training Programs. The airline first launched its pilot training school “close to” 50 years ago, and since then has trained pilots from over 52 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Ethiopian took delivery of its first Airbus A350 XWB in 2016 and currently operates seven aircraft of this model, with additional 17 currently being on order.