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 10:30 - 17:30 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!
- Experience the culinary gourmet adventure with over 22 world-class restaurants, lounges and bars including the Michelin star restaurant Nobu
- Free access to Aquaventure and Lost Chambers
- Free upgrade to half board on selected dates and two children stay free when sharing with parents
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
- Includes entrance fees at all monuments as per the itinerary
- An English-Speaking local Guide will take you around the sightseeing & excursion tours as per the itinerary
Stay close to all the action in a fabulous resort that's part of a beautiful ecological reserve and sits right next to Xcaret, Cancun's number one theme park.
- Exclusive discount to the eco-archaeological Xcaret Park
- Enjoy access to 11 Restaurants and 10 Bars & access to 5 Swimming Pools
- Limitless all-inclusive fun and thrills for everyone in a beautiful eco-reserve facing a glorious beach
Explore the area and enjoy an easy access to all attractions around Falmouth
- Fully equipped fitness centre, watersport activities, tennis court, golf and themed dining evenings to enjoy
- Within 30 minutes by car from Montego Bay International airport and downtown Montego
- Complimentary Wi-fi throughout the hotel
One of the most sought-after locations in the magical city of Dubai is the artificial island of Jumeirah. Enjoy the...
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Located by the picturesque St. Paul's Bay, Porto Azzurro Hotel is only 10 minutes away from Malta's main sandy beaches...
Perfectly positioned right at the heart of Marrakesh's chic and trendy Hivernage district, a modern neighbourhood in...
Situated right at the heart of the Port Rashid district, the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Mina sits ideally between the...