Ghada Al Rousi is Air Arabia’s first female pilot and a genuine inspiration
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Becoming Air Arabia’s first female pilot might not be on most people’s career prospects, but Ghada Al Rousi is not most people. Not that it’s always been part of her plans. Ghada Al Rousi, Alpha Aviation Academy graduate and Air Arabia First Officer started her path in life by studying Tourism Management in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and before aviation she worked for one of the government ministries. “Piloting was not something I was dreaming of when I was a child,” she freely admits. However, Ghada is now extremely proud to be the first female Emirati to have a MPL licence, but she also hopes she can be an inspiration to other women considering a career in piloting. “The most important thing to remember is that being a good pilot doesn’t depend on being a woman or man. What matters is how much you love your job and how hard you are willing to work.” She flies with both male and female pilots and the most important thing, in her view, is their professionalism, not their gender. “The same rule applies for any career, whether it be a pilot or another profession in a male dominated environment, for example, another STEM-based career,” she says, “As long as you believe in yourself, are confident, and are willing to work hard, you can succeed.” For a woman in a male-dominated industry, Ghada has had a lot of support. “Some people are so happy about it and proud, asking me about my experiences. Some people in the beginning said ‘What?! A woman becoming a pilot?! This is man’s job! I won’t get in the plane with you!’” But she reassures me that these people are very much in the minority. “If you believe in yourself, you can do this job, irrespective of gender.” The desire for becoming a pilot came a few years ago, it seems. “The first time I entered a cockpit,” she shares, “I just had a sense that I could do this – become a pilot.” As soon as she realised this, starting a pilot training course became her new ambition. After considering the different options available, Al Rousi settled on Alpha Aviation Academy in Sharjah, because they offered the training programme she wanted: the Air Arabia Multi-Crew Pilots License (MPL) programme.
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