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Two remarkable women are now rarities among rarities: Aisha Al-Mansouri (left) and Salma Al-Baloushi (right) have just graduated from Etihad Airways’ two-year ab-initio flight training course alongside nine male colleagues.
They’re the first women to win their wings in the program, which is run by Horizon International Flight Academy for the middle eastern carrier.
The 11 new Second Officers will spend the next six months in more training, learning the skills of multi-crew cooperation and getting through an Airbus A320 type conversion course. After they complete their final checks, they’ll qualify as A320 First Officers on short-haul routes.
This graduating class was the second to finish the course; Etihad Airways recently welcomed the 100th cadet pilot to its flying program, a woman named Shareefa Al Bloushi. She is in the 10th cadet group, and is the sixth female Emirati cadet pilot to join the program.
Aisha’s and Salma’s fellow graduates were Ali Al Farsi, Ahmed Balalaa, Ibrahim Sanqoor, Khalid Al Ali, Mohamed Al Kaabi, Khalid Al Marzouqi, Khalil Amiri, Abdalla Balkhashar and Hasan Abdulla.
I found some numbers – whose age I can’t verify – to put this in some context: there are roughly 6.8 billion humans roaming this planet. Of that number, about 80,000 are airline pilots. Or about one one-thousandth. Pretty rare to be an airline pilot. The International Society of Women Airline Pilots says about 5% of all airline pilots worldwide are women, or about 4,000.
Evidently United has the most female captains with 68, and 513 female pilots overall. But the group says Aer Lingus has the highest percentage of female pilots among its rated staff.Anyone out there want to guess how many female captains there are worldwide?
tw99, Etihad, female, ab initio
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