My dream about becoming a commercial pilot started when I was very young. My dad has always been my role model and inspiration to pursue my dreams. For almost 20 years he flew long haul across the world, always taking me and my three sisters with him on his travels, I couldn’t think of a better way to see the world from such a young age – I fell in love with aviation and the world. Today he is a captain on the Airbus 320. My sisters and I grew up with the idea that everything is possible and that we could do what ever we desired in our lives, but you’d have to be willing to work hard, because truthfully very little in life has to do with luck.

2010, when I was 18 years old I was lucky enough to get accepted into the government funded aviation school in Sweden, Scandinavian Aviation Academy. That summer I flew solo for the first time in a single engine piston Cessna 172. When I was 20 years old I graduated from high school of the natural science program and was a proud owner of a commercial pilot license. I then moved back home to the south of Sweden, started working part time at the Swedish ATC (Air Traffic Control) Academy as a simulator pilot, while continuing my studies to become an airline pilot. Summer of 2014, I took my multi engine license, instrument rating, MCC course and ATPL theory. At that time I finally had completed all my aviation training and was now an owner of a frozen ATPL and could start applying for aviation jobs as a first officer. 

Less than a month after I completed my training I received the great news that I had been accepted into the cadet program for Ryanair, flying the Boeing 737-800 in the right seat as a first officer. After the intense few months of type rating in Amsterdam and London, I was allocated my first base, Palma de Mallorca in Spain. I was fortunate enough to live on this beautiful island for five months during my line training. The months spent on Mallorca quickly made me realize what I value in life and I decided I wanted to stay in Spain, as close to the ocean as possible. In October 2015 I was allocated my new permanent base, my new home Tenerife. The climate they have in the Canary Islands is like a perfect summer day in Sweden, just all year round. And I found myself as happy as I’ve ever been. Scandinavia and Sweden will always have my heart though, it’s the one place I get to call my home and where my beloved family lives. There’s nothing better than be able to go home for a few days after being away for some months, I just wish the weather was more like Tenerife-weather 😉

My dream has always been to fly long haul just like my dad used to. However, being based on Tenerife, with it’s long flights all over Europe, it’s kind of like working long haul. Today I work on a 5/4 schedule, which means I work for five days then have four days off, with no layovers. On a typical month I have between 7-12 working days, flying 75-100 hours a month. It’s perfect. This allows me to spend time doing all sorts of different things that I cherish in life. On my four days off from work I either go visit friends and family all over Europe, or I stay on my island where I go hiking, snorkeling with the turtles, kitesurfing in El Médano or hang by the pool enjoying the sun. I especially love the ocean and all kinds of water sports. 

Two of my best friends are also airline pilots, Malin Rydqvist is based in beautiful Croatia and Maria Pettersson is based on the equally beautiful island of Sicily. Today female pilots account for less than 6% of all airline commercial pilots in the world and personally I think that’s way too low of a percentage. Together we are each others cheerleading squad, always lifting each other up whenever we think that the world is too dark. There is too much negativity in the world, so this is a place for me where I try to inspire and keep up a good spirit. I think my job is serious enough so it’s important to smile as much as possible, whenever you find an opportunity. Through my social media accounts I’d like to share all my adventures with you and show that with the right mindset and hard work it’s possible to come a little bit closer to do the things that you desire in life. The same way my parents raised me and my sisters.

Med kärlek, 

Maria

 

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