Oman Air celebrates first female Omani captainOMAN AIR, the national carrier of the Sultanate, has announced pilot Maha Al Balushi as the first female Omani Captain, marking a landmark in Oman’s aviation industry. Al Balushi officially received her new rank during a ceremony recently held at the Oman Air’s headquarters in Muscat, the latest in a string of firsts she has achieved over her decade-long career with the airline. Al Balushi said: “My dream has always been to become a Captain. It hasn’t been easy but thanks to the support I have around me, from my family to my training team and the airline, I have accomplished what I set out to do. It is an honour to hold this role and I hope that I will inspire other Omani women to choose such a rewarding career in the skies.” Maha Al Balushi has been with Oman Air since 2010, after graduating from the cadet programme at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, the only woman who was enrolled in the programme at the time. Ms. Al Balushi also made waves when she became Oman’s first female First Officer in 2013. Gulf Air performs low emission fly-past GULF AIR, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the World’s Most Improved Airlines 2022, performed a low emission flypast at the 2023 Formula 1 season opener over the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for the third year in a row on March 4. The airline also unveiled its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with its new corporate identity at the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2018, said the statement from Gulf Air. Commenting on the achievement, CEO Captain Waleed AlAlawi said: “For the third year in a row, we mark the beginning of the race with a truly special low emission flypast as a commitment to our future strategy to explore the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in our aircraft and standing by our commitment to lower our carbon emissions.” Vistara launches Mumbai-Dammam flights VISTARA, a leading full-service carrier in India and a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, has inaugurated its daily non-stop service between Mumbai and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. This is Vistara’ s second destination in Saudi Arabia, complementing its 7x weekly connectivity between Mumbai and Jeddah. Deploying its A320neo aircraft with a three-class cabin configuration and enhanced features, Vistara is the only airline to offer travellers the choice of Premium Economy cabin in addition to Business and Economy Class on this route. Vinod Kannan, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said: “We are delighted to commence operations to Dammam, a major administrative hub in Saudi Arabia and home to a large Indian diaspora. The addition of Dammam to our growing international network is in line with our goal to further strengthen our presence in the Middle East. Dammam will be the fifth Vistara destination in the region – after Dubai, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Muscat....” Qatar Airways names Padukone as ambassador QATAR AIRWAYS has launched a new brand campaign in collaboration with world-renowned Indian actor, Deepika Padukone, naming her the airline’s Global Brand Ambassador. The campaign launch is the culmination of the airline’s endeavour to redefine Qatar Airways Premium experience, particularly through showcasing the world-class Qsuite along with the unparalleled surroundings of The Orchard, which are core to Hamad International Airport’s expansion. The timeless acoustic track ‘Ain’t Nobody’ accompanies the campaign that connects Padukone’s journey with Qatar Airways to a new level of luxury and elegance. She encapsulates the premium experience available to customers of Qatar Airways, transiting through the best airport in the world, Hamad International Airport. Qatar Airways was recently announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2022 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax.