Call us today on 020 7644 1770


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' first female Captain sets off on first flight

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.

Leave a comment

Talk to a specialist


Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT

Popular Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £259 per person
hotel santana

Hotel Santana

Located just 150 yards from the pretty seaside promenade in the popular resort of Qawra, the Hotel Santana is ideally...

From £399 per person
hilton garden inn mall of the emirates

Hilton Garden Inn Mall of the Emirates

With all the modern facilities and comforts you would expect from a 4* hotel, this hotel is set within central Al Barsha...

From £429 per person
fairmont ajman

Fairmont Ajman

Fairmont Ajman is surrounded by stunning white sandy beaches and year round sunshine, just 30 minutes from the bustling...

From £429 per person
hilton capital grand abu dhabi

Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi

Experience luxurious accommodations, modern business and leisure amenities and an ideal location in the heart of Abu...