Subscribe Free
in Training / People

Female Emirati pilot's rallying cry to young women

Posted 11 May 2016 · Add Comment

Air Arabia second officer, Ghada Mohamed Al Rousi, has issued a rallying cry to young women around the world, among rising concern within the commercial aviation industry over a looming global pilot shortage.


Boeing has estimated that by 2034, the commercial aviation sector will need an additional 558,000 new pilots to satisfy commercial demand. Yet with major airlines only hiring around 3,000 pilots per year, global supply of pilots is projected to fall well short of demand.

Given that of the 130,000 commercial airline pilots across the globe a mere 3% are female, Al Rousi says now is the time for the untapped potential of budding female aviators to be fulfilled.

She said: “At the moment there are not enough women flying planes and this has to change. People’s mindsets are changing – there used to be an attitude that flying a plane was only a man’s job but that isn’t the case anymore.

“I remember when I first stepped into a cockpit I just had a feeling that I wanted to be a pilot. My advice to any young woman with similar ambitions is to ignore anyone that tells you what you can’t achieve. If you want to be a pilot then you must go for it. I never stopped to worry about what could go wrong - and now here I am flying today.

“As a woman, I have been asked why I have chosen to learn to fly? I do not want to just stay at home and cook for a husband.”

Despite airlines expanding their fleets and carrying more passengers than ever before, Al Rousi - who is the first female Emirati graduate of Alpha Aviation Group’s training school in Sharjah - warns that sector growth will be stunted unless more women are encouraged to fly.

Al Rousi was also keen to stress that her conservative cultural background has not held her back in her career:

“I have felt supported by my country every step of the way and everyone has helped me as much as they can. Flying a plane is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not an easy job. My family are proud of me, my country is proud of me and I am proud to serve my country in my job every day.

“I am thankful that Alpha Aviation Group, where I trained, provided me with the opportunity to learn to fly. Some of their course intake has been 20% female, and it’s important that the training academies are at the forefront of ensuring more women get out the cabin and into the cockpit.”

Al Rousi also believes that authorities must now be pro-active in solving the pilot shortage:

“As a local woman, I have seen that this is a profession with room for more female pilots. The challenge now is for the authorities to find a way to get more women into pilot training schools and into the cockpit.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Cooperation the key to a safer future for all

Airspace, safety and security are key issues for the Middle East and North Africa. The United Nations body for civil aviation, ICAO, has its regional headquarters in Cairo, where Alan Peaford met regional vice president, Mohamed Rahma.

SITA: Biometric technology is emerging as top solution for airlines and airports

Biometric technology is emerging as the top solution for airlines and airports to automate identity checks amid rising passenger numbers. This is according to Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution, a report

Spike Aerospace predicts supersonic market exceeds 13 Million+ annually

"Supersonic flights could be enjoyed by over 13 million passengers annually when flights begin in 2025," according to Vik Kachoria, CEO & President of Spike Aerospace.

Qatar Airways and Iberia expand codeshare partnership

Qatar Airways and Iberia have extended of their codeshare partnership, offering Iberia customers increased connectivity to destinations across the Middle East and Asia, as well as providing enhanced accessibility for Qatar Airways

Emirates anticipates high passenger traffic for spring holiday

Travel is expected to peak for Emirates, as the airline expects yet another busy period with visitors passing through Terminal 3 ahead of the spring holiday.

Boeing 737 MAX 7 completes successful first flight

Boeing's new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight today. The airplane remains on schedule and now begins a comprehensive flight test programme leading to certification and delivery in 2019.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
MEBAA BT2018BIAS BT271017161118SOFEX BT2018AirportShow BT1502090518Istanbul Airshow BT22018Global Aerospace BT2018ArabianTravelMkBT250418Aviation Africa BT18418