PIA Selects All-Women Crew for ‘Difficult’ Flight to Gilgit, Made a Smooth Take-Off, Flight And Landing

“My daughter flew with this Captain and was full of praise for the smooth take-off, flight and landing”

JUN 21, 2018 (Updated): Social media on Thursday hit a new chatter level in Pakistan with a picture of two female pilots, Captain Maryam Masood and First Officer Shumaila Mazhar, taken before the duo flew the national carrier all the way to Gilgit – the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan located in a broad valley near the confluence of Gilgit River and Hunza River.

According to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the flight to Gilgit is very challenging and requires a lot of precision and technique as the route flies above populated valleys and high peaks on the way — GB is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 meters (23,000 ft).

Back in 2006, PIA first launched an all-female crew for Gilgit. With ourism, trekking and mountaineering industry making a comeback — in fact growing after the decisive war on terror, the “great people to fly with” has relaunched its signature initiative.

GB, the remotest and one of the highest elevated northwest region of Pakistan, borders Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China, to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast.

“My daughter flew with this Captain (Maryam) and was full of praise for the smooth take-off, flight and landing,” tweeted M Ali Chundrigar @AliChundrigar.

This isn’t the first time that Captain Masood has made a mark in the country’s aviation sector. In August 2016, Maryam along with her sister Erum Masood made history by flying the coveted Boeing-777 aircraft to various local and international destinations.

Some people called out PIA for not having announced the latest newsworthy event.

“Next time please promote such things before they go viral and you realize it’s worth getting on the bandwagon. These are your pilots and you never promoted them before. This isn’t even an official picture! Nevertheless, the ladies are inspirational! https://t.co/YsU9R9iJlG tweeted Khizra (@KhizM) June 21, 2018.

The ladies got kudos from many. “Wow. Good job. Great to know that. Role of women is essential for a nation’s development,” said @Qamar_110

More and more Pakistani women are taking up careers like piloting hitherto dominated by males both in civil and military domain. More than a dozen female pilots have undergone training in the Air Force and more are under training.

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