Oman’s aviation industry has reached a landmark moment with the announcement of Oman Air pilot Maha Al Balushi as the first female Omani Captain. Al Balushi officially received her new rank during a ceremony recently held at the Oman Air’s headquarters in Muscat, the latest in a string of firsts she has achieved over her decade-long career with the airline.
Al Balushi said: “My dream has always been to become a Captain. It hasn’t been easy but thanks to the support I have around me, from my family to my training team and the airline, I have accomplished what I set out to do. It is an honour to hold this role and I hope that I will inspire other Omani women to choose such a rewarding career in the skies.”
Captain Moosa Al Shidhani, senior vice president flight operations at Oman Air, added, “We are thrilled to have Ms Al Balushi as our first female Omani Captain, and we believe this is just the beginning of great things to come. This is not just a milestone for our airline but for Oman’s aviation industry, and we are honoured to play a leading role in its progress by continuing to nurture Omani talent in all areas of our operations.”
Maha Al Balushi has been with Oman Air since 2010, after graduating from the cadet programme at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, the only woman who was enrolled in the programme at the time. Ms Al Balushi also made waves when she became Oman’s first female First Officer in 2013.
Oman Air continues to pursue a proactive policy of recognising talented and qualified women and supporting them to excel within their chosen careers. Today, over 1,230 Omani female employees contribute to the airline’s strength and represent a range of levels and roles including cabin crew, flight operations, engineering, airport services, marketing, customer services, sales and communications. Meanwhile, having achieved an Omanisation rate of 94% (excluding female cabin crew), the airline provides rich and varied career development opportunities, as well as internships and graduate training programmes that expand horizons for young Omanis.