8-year-old boy teaches flying lessons to Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola at Etihad


The celebrated coach is being coached: This is one goal that Guardiola would always love.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, celebrated World Pilots’ Day with the release of a video featuring world-renowned football manager Pep Guardiola during his visit to its state-of-the-art flight training academy in Abu Dhabi.

In the warm-hearted video, Pep is no longer the one calling the shots. He is the one being coached as he takes his orders from aviation enthusiast Alban who is just eight years old. The aspiring young pilot dreams of flying for Etihad and to take Manchester City players around the world one day. He was thrilled to meet and train one of football’s most famous faces.

Pep Guardiola commented: “It was a pleasure to visit the Etihad training academy and meet Alban. I fully believe the Etihad Airways crew are exceptional at what they do and represent the airline so well. It was a pleasure to step into their shoes for a brief moment to learn about their roles.”

Alban asks him, “How did you enjoy your flight?” Guardiola replies, “All the time I took Etihad, the plane was marvellous.”

Before ‘takeoff,’ Alban shows Guardiola his seat in the cockpit saying, “You are going to be my co-pilot today.”

In the video, they take in the sights of the iconic Yas Marina Circuit and the striking red roof of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi as they come into ‘land’ in the UAE’s capital, from where Etihad Airways operates to more than 60 destinations.

After the plane lands, Guardiola was all praise for the youngster. “You are a genius, honestly. I couldn’t have expected how good you are.”

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “We’re proud of Etihad’s pilots and the training they do to fly our guests safely around the world. To celebrate World Pilots’ Day, we wanted to provide a window into their world by flying in Pep Guardiola to Abu Dhabi to challenge him to a flying lesson. Together with our long-standing partners Manchester City FC, we would like to say thank you to all pilots for their contribution to connecting the world.”

World Pilots’ Day is celebrated every year on 26 April. The day recognises the important contribution pilots make to safely connect millions of guests around the world every year.


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