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First Burmese women pilots take to the sky

New Delhi (Mizzima) - As the first female pilots in Burma, two women, after completing commercial pilot courses from Malaysia, have begun operating flights as co-pilots with Air Bagan.

Hnin Oo Wai and May Cho Win (fourth & fifth from left), the first two Burmese female pilots, along with colleagues and friends. Photo–IAA/Mizzima.
The two women, Hnin Oo Way and May Cho Win, completed a two-year training course at the Integrated Aviation Academy (IAA) in Malaysia and received their commercial pilots licenses in August 2009.

“The two female pilots from Myanmar [Burma] completed their studies at the Integrated Aviation Academy in August 2009 and have gone back to Myanmar [Burma] to work with Air Bagan,” Idi Najeem Bin Khairuddin, Marketing & Communication Executive at IAA, told Mizzima.

Khairuddin added that another Burmese woman is still training at the academy and after completing the final phases of her studies will receive her license in March 2010.

An official at Air Bagan, owned privately by Burmese business tycoon Tayza, told Mizzima that the two women haveair-bagans begun working as co-pilots and will be promoted to the rank of captain after completing the necessary flight hours as co-pilots.

A pilot from Air Bagan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Mizzima that the ladies were groomed first as air hostesses before being sent at the company’s expense to attend the aviation academy.

“They will become the first women pilots in Burma,” added the pilot.

According to him, a commercial pilot needs a minimum of 200 hours of flight time during their training course before they are ready to be awarded a license.

Air Bagan, owned by Tayza, a close associate and business partner of Burmese military Supremo Senior General Than Shwe, launched its Rangoon-Chiang Mai, Thailand route earlier this month.

Besides Air Bagan, Myanmar Airways International (MAI), the country’s national flag carrier, is the only other Burmese airline operating internationally.

Editing by Mungpi

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 January 2010 15:12 )  

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