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(Royal Brunei Airlines)
(Royal Brunei Airlines)

The female skies

First all-women flight crew from Brunei lands in country where women can’t drive

By WITW Staff on March 15, 2016

Late last month, captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy, senior first officer Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem and senior first officer Sariana Nordin made history when the trio became the first all-women flight crew to pilot an airliner for Royal Brunei Airlines. The momentous flight was made in honor of the day that celebrates Brunei’s independence and, in addition to the historic nature of the flight, it was also notable due to the aviators’ destination. They landed the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a country where women are barred from driving, Saudi Arabia, shining a spotlight on the struggle for gender equality in some parts of the Middle East.


This is not the first time the flight’s captain, Sharifah Czarena Surainy, has made headlines. Surainy became Brunei’s first woman airline captain in 2012, and at the time said that flying jetliners was widely perceived as “a male dominant occupation.” She went on to say, “As a woman, a Bruneian woman, it is such a great achievement. It’s really showing the younger generation or the girls especially that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it.” First officer Sariana Nordin reportedly made history by becoming the country’s first female pilot. She’s been flying with Royal Brunei Airlines for the last decade. The airline says it’s actively trying to recruit more women aviators to join its ranks.

Read the full story at The Independent and Metro.


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