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First Etihad Emirati Women Cadet Pilots Graduate

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Etihad Airways’ first female Emirati cadet pilots - Salma Al-Baloushi and Aisha Al-Mansouri - have successfully graduated from flight training alongside nine male colleagues, and gained their airline transport pilot licence (ATPL).

The cadet pilots, Etihad’s second group to graduate, were conferred with their flying wings in a ceremony at the airline’s training academy which was attended by family and friends as well as senior management from Etihad Airways and the Horizon International Flight Academy.

Joining Salma and Aisha to receive their wings were Ali Al Farsi, Ahmed Balalaa, Ibrahim Sanqoor, Khalid Al Ali, Mohamed Al Kaabi, Khalid Al Marzouqi, Khalil Amiri, Abdalla Balkhashar and Hasan Abdulla.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said, “Everyone at Etihad is delighted that Salma and Aisha – our first female cadet pilots – have made history as the first women to graduate from the programme.

“Salma and Aisha are a key part of Etihad’s expanding female pilot community and we wish them, as well as their male colleagues, the best of luck as they enter the next phase of their careers with Etihad.”

The cadets started the pilot programme course in September 2007 and now have the rank of second officers at Etihad Airways.

As second officers the pilots will undertake a multi-crew co-operation course and an Airbus A320 type conversion course which will enable them to fly as co-pilots on the Etihad Airways Airbus A320 short haul fleet.

The cadet pilots will spend much of the time during the type conversion course in Etihad’s A320 full-flight simulator as well as training in the development of non-technical skills applicable to working in a multi-crew environment. After approximately six months they complete their final checks and will qualify as A320 first officers.

In order to gain the frozen ATPL the cadet pilots had to complete 750 hours of classroom tuition and 205 hours of flight training in single and multi-engine aircraft. During this time they all passed the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority’s theoretical knowledge and flying exams.

Etihad Airways recently welcomed the 100th cadet pilot to its innovative and expanding flying programme. Shareefa Al Bloushi is a member of Etihad’s tenth group of cadets. She is also the sixth female Emirati cadet pilot to join the programme, and eighth female overall.

In addition to the cadet pilot programme, Etihad Airways’ Emiratisation initiatives focus on two other streams which include the technical engineering development programme and graduate management development programme.

Etihad now also has two international cadet pilot courses which run alongside the five Emirati courses at Horizon Academy. The two groups contain 24 cadet pilots from countries around the world including Hungary, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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