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At Etihad, these women fly their dreams

Staff Reporter
Filed on August 28, 2016 | Last updated on August 28, 2016 at 07.03 am
At Etihad, these women fly their dreams

Ten longstanding members of the UAE General Women's Union visited Etihad Airways' Training Academy.
(Supplied photo)


Etihad has been holding a series of events to mark the second Emirati Women's Day with this year's theme as Emirati Women and Innovation.


Etihad Airways has marked Emirati Women's Day by announcing that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including nearly 50 pilots.

Aisha Al Mansoori recalls being mesmorised by the aerial activity at Al Ain Air Show in 2007. Now, she is one of those pilots, flying the largest passenger jet in the world.

"I fell in love with aviation during the 2007 Al Ain Air Show and joined Etihad the following year as a cadet. After qualifying, I started as a Second Officer on the Airbus A320 and now I'm a First Officer on the A380. I hope to become Captain so I can train other aviators," said Aisha Al Mansoori.

A total of 11 Emirati women are fully operational as pilots with the airline, while 38 others are navigating their way through cadet pilot training.

Etihad has been holding a series of events to mark the second Emirati Women's Day with this year's theme as Emirati Women and Innovation.

The most symbolic of the events was a visit to Etihad Airways' Training Academy by ten longstanding members of the UAE General Women's Union (GWU). The delegation met some of the airline's Emirati female pilots, engineers and business leaders - bringing two generations together in a powerful illustration of the journey of Emirati women and the progress that has been made.

The delegation was led by the GWU's first member, 65-year-old Zulaikha Al Sayed Al Hashemi.

Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the UAE General Women's Union, said: "Such achievements would not have been possible without the vision, direction and unwavering support of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. We were happy to meet ambitious Emirati women working across Etihad Airways, both locally and globally, in areas such as flight operations, engineering and management."

Mona Walid, vice-president, human resources for Etihad Airways and Etihad Airways Engineering, said: "Since Etihad's launch in 2003, the company has focused on attracting and developing both male and female Emirati talent. As we nurture the leaders of the future, we are committed to elevating Emirati women to the forefront of aviation to play their part in the growth of the economy."

Of the more than 3,200 Emiratis employed by the airline, 1,661 are women.

On Sunday and Monday, Etihad is holding networking events where Emirati female employees can discuss their careers with the airline's most successful female staff. Fatima Al Mehairi joined the events from Toronto, where she is the first Emirati woman within Etihad to be appointed as general manager of a country. Arwa AlShehhi flew in from New York where she is marketing manager Americas.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com





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