Etihad Airways said that it had operated its first flight with an Emirati female pilot on board. Salma Al Baloushi operated her first flight as a first officer on flight EY 091 from Abu Dhabi to Athens. She is the first Emirati female to graduate from the airline’s cadet programme as a co-pilot, with five other Emirati women currently in training.
Captain Richard Hill, Chief Operations Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “This is a proud time for the region and Etihad Airways.”Salma is a leader in our expanding female Emirati community and will be an example for her colleagues to follow. We wish her the best of luck in her career as she joins us in the rank of First Officer on Etihad’s Airbus A320 fleet,” he added.
Salma joined Etihad in 2007 and completed her training at the Horizon International Flight Academy in Al Ain, and successfully 205 hours of flight training in single and multi-engine aircraft and later qualified as Etihad’s first Emirati female A320 co-pilot, graduating to the rank of First Officer.
She said: “It was such an honour to be awarded with the rank of First Officer. I can only hope my accomplishment encourages many of my Emirati sisters and brothers to push the boundaries and reach their goals.”