‘There’s something about a man in uniform.’ It’s an infamous line used by women (and some men) from all ages and walks of life, but it’s never been more true than it is today.

Alitalia is giving ‘thirsty’ travellers eight new reasons to choose its services – eight new pilot cadets that are complete stunners, to say the least.

A photo of the pilots-in-training was released by Alitalia this week along with the announcement that the group had been selected to join the joint Alitalia-Etihad Airways Cadet Pilot program.

Needless to say, it brought the women in the KarryOn office to girlish giggles as we debated over which of the fellas we’d love to ‘bump into’ on our next trip to Italy or Abu Dhabi.

Alitalia pilots

Still deciding… no wait, the fourth one from the right.

Of course, their good looking exteriors and sharp uniforms aren’t the only reasons we feel comfortable with these guys behind the stick. The eight are among 24 other juniors selected from 550 candidates to join a selective two-year training course. In other words, they’re among the best of the best to take to the sky.

Over the next 24 months, the eight men and their 16 colleagues will undertake extensive training at Alitalia’s training centres in Italy and at Etihad Airways’ training facilities in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Their training will consist of aptitude, psychological and physical tests.

Alitalia training

But that’s not all. They’ll also partake in theoretical and practical classwork, which will be followed by the first training test flights at the Etihad Flight College in Al Ain, an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi.

The second part the course will be held at the Alitalia Training Academy at Rome Fiumicino, which is equipped with seven flight simulators, and managed by a dedicated team of the airline’s pilot instructors.

Upon successful completion of the course, scheduled for summer 2017, Alitalia will employ the new pilots under long-term contract.

They’ll fly at CityLiner, Alitalia’s regional airline, which operates a fleet of 20 aircraft including five Embraer 190 and 15 Embraer 175 regional jets. New pilots will commit to flying for Alitalia for a minimum period of 36 months.

Alitalia 5

Alitalia’s Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, said training and investing in young people is a commitment by both the airline and Etihad.

“Today is an important day for Alitalia and the Italian civil aviation sector as a whole, whose track record for the training of airline pilots is recognised around the globe.”

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Alitalia Chairman

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, added that by ensuring pilots are exposed to the best pilot training in the world both carriers ‘guarantee a continued access to a pool of highly skilled aviators well into the future’.

Do you think it’s important more important than ever for pilots to go through extensive training?