Aisha Al-Mansoori becomes first female Emirati captain at a commercial airline

Etihad Airways celebrated this week Cpt. Aisha Al-Mansoori, who has become the UAE’s first female captain at a commercial airline.

It is a significant milestone in Etihad’s efforts to expand the roles of women in aviation, particularly among pilots.

The ceremony was held at Etihad’s Crew Briefing Center in the presence of the pilot’s family, her peers in the Etihad pilot community, and senior management from the airline.

Al-Mansoori joined Etihad’s Cadet Pilot Program in October 2007, one of only two female UAE nationals in her class. She graduated from the program in 2010 and took her first flight on an Airbus A320 to Amman, Jordan.

Since then, Al-Mansoori has risen through the ranks, earning the necessary flying hours to become a senior first officer, and becoming the first female UAE national to fly the Airbus A380 superjumbo passenger plane.

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to join Etihad’s Cadet Pilot Program and grow my career over the years with Etihad,” Al-Mansoori said

“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.

“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,” Etihad Aviation Group CEO Mohammad Al-Bulooki said.

“Etihad remains committed to ‘Emiratization’ and to elevating Emirati women to play their part in the growth of the aviation industry,” he continued.

"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.”

Al-Mansoori will commence regular flying duties as a captain at Etihad on Wednesday, which also marks Emirati Women’s Day.