Captains and First Officers piloted the Airbus A380.
Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is marking International Women’s Day this year with its first flight staffed by an all-female flight crew, highlighting the integral role played by its female staff members in technical, operational and leadership positions.
More than 30 Etihad Airways women showcased their aviation skills and expertise during Etihad’s first ever all-female flight on flight EY017 from Abu Dhabi International Airport to London’s Heathrow International Airport on 8 March.
French Captain Sophie Blanchard and Irish Captain Faela Stevenson piloted the Airbus A380 along with First Officers Pirre Susana Leese from Finland and Liesbeth Baldewijns from Belgium.
The flight deck worked hand in hand with the 19-member all-female cabin crew team from 13 nationalities, on the flight of 398 guests.
Amina Taher, Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Etihad Aviation Group said of the day: “At Etihad, we don’t just connect places – we connect people. On International Women’s Day, we’re so proud to have thousands of strong, ambitious and talented women working with us across the entire value chain both above and below the wing in areas including operations, cargo, and engineering, as well as specialised functions such as aviation law, medicine and finance.
“We invite our daughters, sisters, colleagues and friends to join us in continuing to ensure that gender diversity is well represented across our industry, here and globally. To women and men everywhere, Happy International Women’s Day from Etihad Aviation Group.”
The operation brought together women in roles including pilots and cabin crew, engineers, technicians, a technical safety manager, a flight dispatcher and a load controller.
Travellers to Abu Dhabi International Airport were able to see artwork featuring four of Etihad’s inspiring women as they journeyed through the nation’s capital.
Fatima Alkharousi is Head of Terminal Operations. Since joining Etihad in 2009, Fatima has held management positions in London, Singapore and Sydney before becoming the airline’s first female airport manager in Nagoya, Japan. She now leads Etihad’s terminal operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport, ensuring everything runs smoothly and safely for the airline in its busy hub.
8 March is also the anniversary of the first woman to receive a pilot’s licence: the French aviator Elise Raymonde de Laroche in 1910, making it a doubly appropriate day for Etihad’s all-female achievement in the skies.
The organisers will donate a percentage of all revenue from registrations and sponsorship toward the programme.
The decision aims at enhancing the balance between the two sectors and supporting the national economy in its various fields.
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