First Bahraini Women Pilot Gains Wings


 In a brief ceremony held in his office, Gulf Air Vice President Operations Captain Hameed Ali, congratulated Maisa on her achievement and wished her a successful career.

"It is by no means an ordinary achievement," he said. "She had to pass through hurdles, which are quite challenging and demanding. The two-year training programme is a rigorous one and there are no favours or concessions shown for being a woman.

"Secondly, in this part of the world, there is a myth that a flying career is exclusive to men and that women are less skilled to take up this job.

“Maisa broke that myth by proving she is equally capable and talented. She is a sterling example of a successful Bahraini woman, and I am sure her success, will open doors for more Bahraini women who want to achieve.

“Her hard work, keenness to learn and determination to achieve will see her becoming a captain eventually."

A graduate of electronic engineering from the University of Bahrain class of 2000, Maisa worked as an air traffic controller at the Bahrain International Airport for two years before joining Gulf Air’s cadet pilot programme in 2004.

"Maisa went through the standard selection process of several screenings, tests and interviews and was chosen strictly on merit, competing with over 400 candidates, who had applied for the programme and she completed the training successfully, just like other trainees in her batch," added Capt Ali.

The Gulf Air cadet pilot programme is part of the Gulf Nationals’ Training programme initiated by Gulf Air for the nationals of its owner states. Selected candidates have to complete successfully an initial 18-month training period before being accepted as Second Officers and then progressing to the final of four-month phase of training, after which they become First Officers.

"Every phase of the training was challenging and demanding but interesting," says Maisa.

"I am very grateful to Gulf Air, my trainers, and my parents who supported and encouraged me all along.

"It is a great feeling to be a pilot for Gulf Air and I personally think any female can do it. All one needs is sincerity, hard work, competitive spirit and the determination to succeed."

Chief Pilot A320 and manager-in-charge of Maisa, Capt Nasser Al Salmi says Maisa is a very talented and devoted individual.

"Throughout her training programme she neither expected any concession nor wanted to be treated differently; she followed every rule in the book, like others in her batch, and she proved herself. I look forward to her becoming a captain in due course," he says.


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