Emirati Etihad Pilot Youngest Holder of PhD in Aviation

24.03.2015 Aviation
Emirati Etihad Pilot Youngest Holder of PhD in Aviation

Emirati Etihad Pilot Youngest Holder of PhD in Aviation

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Shareef Al Romaithi, a 31-year-old Etihad Airways First Officer, has become the first Emirati to obtain a PhD in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which also makes him the youngest and the eighth holder of this distinctive degree in the world.

Romaithi joined the UAE’s national carrier in 2007 as a cadet pilot, and upon completing the airline’s specialized pilot training program, became the first Etihad Airways cadet pilot to transition to First Officer status.

His educational journey began in 2005 when he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He went on to complete two Masters Degrees in Aviation and Aerospace Management and Safety Systems.  In 2010, Etihad Airways sponsored his PhD studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a leading, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace.

While studying, he continued his flight training and along with his commercial pilot license, he also obtained private pilot sea-plane and rotorcraft licenses, becoming a Certified Flight and Ground Instructor.

“I am thankful to Etihad Airways for giving me the opportunity to obtain this unique degree while at the same time pursuing what I love,” Romaithi said.  

Romaithi’s research-based dissertation addressed the importance of understanding the impact of cross-culture on airline pilots' safety performance, specifically in the Middle-East and North Africa.

Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “It is very important that Emiratis have a key role in all areas of our business, as the national airline of the UAE. Their development is therefore a significant focus for us, and through our innovative Emiratization, training and scholarship programs, we work hard to prepare our UAE national staff to become future leaders and play an integral role in the airline and aviation industry.”

”Shareef is a prime example of the ambitious and talented Emirati we are continually seeking to develop, and who will ultimately bring their unique skills and knowledge for the benefit of the airline as well as the UAE.  We are proud of his academic accomplishments and look forward to expanding his horizons and career even further,” he added.

Romaithi currently operates the Airbus A330/A340 fleet and will be operating on the Boeing 777 fleet from April.


Photo: Romaithi (Left) and Hogan (Right) at Etihad Airways’ Headquarters


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