Etihad Airways' first female Captain sets off on first flight
Sophie Blanchard, a 33 year old pilot from Lyon, France became the first woman captain for Etihad Airways and yesterday she left Abu Dhabi International Airport and took to the skies for her first flight in an Airbus A330-300 heading for London Heathrow.
Etihad Airways saw their first woman pilot take off in her first flight on September 10 2010 in an Airbus A330-300 which departed from Abu Dhabi International Airport and headed to London Heathrow.
The 33-year old pilot, Sophie Blanchard, is from Lyon in France and a married mother of two. After 15 years of extensive aviation training, Sophie trained in the US for her commercial licence and later moved back to Europe to take up her first position as a pilot.
She then received her uniform's fourth stripe allowing her to take to the skies as a pilot. Sophie joined Etihad Airways in 2007 as a First Officer after spending time flying for Etihad Crystal Cargo and Air Atlanta.
Before taking off on the seven-hour-long Flight EY17 at 1.30pm, Blanchard said:
"It is a great privilege to become Etihad's first female captain and be the first woman to take full command of a commercial flight. The company has been very supportive in my aim to become a captain and I look forward to my first flight to London."
Etihad Airways has 10 female pilots and four female cadet pilots at present. The airline's Chief Operations officer, Captain Richard Hill, said: "We congratulate Sophie on becoming Etihad's first female captain."
Etihad Airways is an international airline which offers flights to the Middle East and destinations all across the globe.
Established since 2005, Etihad Airways has a fleet of 52 young and environmentally-friendly aircraft and has routes to 57 destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. The airline's headquarters are close to Abu Dhabi International Airport and include a state-of-the-art training academy and staff accommodation.
The Etihad Airways Terminal 3 opened at Abu Dhabi International Airport in February last year and is dedicated to the airline and expands the airport's capacity by 5 million visitors each year.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 17:00 GMT
Popular Holidays Browse all
Treat your family to an unforgettable Arabian adventure and make a splash at the world's most extravagant aquatic hotel!
- Free Half Board with a huge range of dining options
- Free access to Aquaventure and Lost Chambers
- Experience the culinary gourmet adventure with over 22 world-class restaurants, lounges and bars including the Michelin star restaurant Nobu
Spend wonderful days exploring India's most iconic landmarks, diving deep into a world of wonder with a wealth of spectacular sights to discover
- Enjoy a traditional rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, see the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra, experience a feast to remember with a traditional Rajasthani family dinner in vibrant Jaipur and much more
- An English-Speaking local Guide will take you around the sightseeing & excursion tours as per the itinerary
- Includes entrance fees at all monuments as per the itinerary
An eco-tourist's dream - embark on an amazing journey of discovery with the perfect combination of comfort and adventure in tropical Costa Rica.
- Explore the amazing country of Costa Rica and discover all it's gems on this in depth tour with a fabulous beach stay
- During this tour you will experience various unique inclusions including a fantastic stay in tented accommodation under the stars in Arenal
- Enjoy various activities and exploration on this holiday including river rafting and much more with various optional tours to add
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
Uncover the charms of India as you spend eight days touring some of its most important touristic sites. The Golden...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Soak up the history of Havana as well as the magnificence of Varadero beach on an unforgettable twin centre holiday to...
Situated just minutes from the Bugibba promenade, Sunflower hotel enjoys an excellent location in the popular area of...
The 4* Ramada Deira hotel boasts comfortable, modern and grand interiors and facilities, as well as easy access to the...
Located in the city centre business district, the DoubleTree by Hilton Ras Al Khaimah combines stylish accommodation and...