An Etihad Airways Emirati pilot has just made history in the UAE.

Reaching new heights (quite literally), Captain Aisha Al Mansoori has become the UAE’s first female Emirati Captain in a commercial airline.

The groundbreaking appointment for Captain Aisha has come after years of hard work and training.

The pilot first joined the Etihad Cadet Pilot programme in 2007, being one of only two Emirati females in her batch. After three years of training, Captain Aisha graduated from the programme in 2010 and took her first flight on an Etihad Airbus A320 to Amman, Jordan.

Captain Aisha has gone on to climb the ranks, completing the required flying hours to become Senior First Officer and she also become the first female UAE national to fly the superjumbo passenger aircraft the Airbus A380.

Captain Aisha Al Mansoori

Now, the 33-year-old has risen to the ranks of Captain, becoming the first Emirati female to do so for a commercial airline, having completed a rigorous training programme with Etihad and undergone the requisite flying hours to be considered for the title. As well as this, Captain Aisha passed the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority’s theoretical knowledge and flying exams successfully to officially become the first Emirati female Captain to hold an Air Transport Pilot License in the UAE.

The appointment comes just ahead of Emirati Women’s Day on August 28, 2022, which is when Captain Aisha is set to commence flying duties as a Captain at Etihad.

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to join Etihad’s Cadet Pilot programme and grow my career over the years with Etihad,” Captain Aisha said of her history-making appointment. “I am thankful for the tremendous support I have received from my instructors at Etihad and for their guidance through my training, which has shaped my skills and prepared me for the rank of Captain.”

It’s a milestone Captain Aisha hopes will also inspire others to follow their passions.

“I am proud to be the first female Emirati to be a Captain in a commercial airline, and I hope I will be an inspiration to young women to follow this career path,” she added.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, also shared Etihad’s pride in Captain Aisha’s groundbreaking appointment, adding the aviation group is committed to supporting Emirati women to grow in the industry.

“Etihad is extremely proud of Captain Aisha’s achievement and the trailblazing role she is playing for women in aviation in the UAE. She will no doubt be the first of many, and Etihad looks forward to welcoming more female pilots to the rank of Captain in the future,” he said. “Etihad remains committed to Emiratisation and to elevating Emirati women to play their part in the growth of the aviation industry.

“Aviation is gender blind, and to prove oneself, Etihad’s pilots undergo intensive exams and meet strict requirements on flying hours to ensure the highest standards of training in international aviation are upheld. Aisha earned her rank and will no doubt inspire her fellow Emiratis and young women around the world to follow their dreams in aviation.”

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Images: Supplied