ROYAL Brunei Airlines' (RB) first female captain who was presented with her captain's epaulettes yesterday, also made history as Southeast Asia's first female captain of a flag carrier airline.
RB Deputy Chairman, Dermot Mannion, who was cited in RB's press release stated that they are delighted to acknowledge Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy Syed Hashim's achievement "in becoming not only the first female captain in RB but also in any flag carrier airline in Southeast Asia".
Similar praises were also mentioned by Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, who presented the high achieving captain her epaulettes during the reception ceremony.
[Read more on Captain Sharifah Czarena on our PEOPLE profile here]
Datin Paduka Hjh Adina in her speech said the appointment of Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy was a great achievement as this is the first time a female captain has been appointed.
"A first not just for Brunei Darussalam but also for any flag carrier airline in Southeast Asia. Brunei Darussalam is indeed paving the way for female pilots in the region," said Datin Paduka Hjh Adina.
In an interview with the media, Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy said: "Being a pilot, people normally see it as being a male dominant occupation. 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," she added.
Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy began her aviation career as a cadet pilot in 2003 when she was sent to the United Kingdom for intensive initial pilot training at the Cabair Flying School, Cranfield, according to the RB press release.
After graduating in 2004 she was sent on secondment to Loganair as a junior First Officer on the Saab 340 turbo prop aircraft before returning to Brunei in 2006 to join RB as a First Officer on the B767-300ER.
She gained promotion to Senior First Officer shortly and in 2010 underwent training to fly B777-200ER.
RB reached another milestone November 6, 2012 when B777-200ER flight number BI 054 from Melbourne touched down at the Brunei International Airport, at the controls of Bruneian Senior First Officer, Sharifah Czarena Surainy under the guidance and supervision of Deputy Chief Operating Officer Captain Khalidkhan Hj Asmakhan.
The successful completion of this flight marked the final stage in the command training process for Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy who was then Senior First Officer.
In order for a pilot to be considered for command in RB, the candidate is expected to have completed 5,000 flying hours along with consistently high assessment grades obtained throughout their career as a Senior First Officer.Flight number BI 054 was the final check flight for Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy in the command process which she had passed with flying colours.
Currently, RB has six female pilots in active service, five on the Boeing Fleet and one on its Airbus fleet, added RB's press release.
The reception for Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy took place at the Muhibah Room of the Royal Brunei Recreation Club.
Also present at the reception were officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education, Department of Civil Aviation and RB Senior Management together with Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy's family members and friends.
The Brunei Times
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