Middle East Airlines (MEA) just announced that Captain Saadeddine Ahmad Dabbous passed away. He was the first-ever Lebanese pilot.
Dabbous joined MEA in 1947 as an accountant, according to a source. Two years later, he applied for a pilot training session. After passing the required tests, the airline transferred him to Cairo to complete his training.
Dabbous graduated at the top of his class and completed the rest of his training in London. In 1952, he became the first Lebanese pilot and flew his first flight from Cairo to Beirut.
The trip was widely covered by the media and the Lebanese Prime Minister Saeb Salam was waiting for him at Beirut Airport.
Dabbous worked hard for MEA for 40 years and flew over 25,000 hours. He ended his career by flying from Cairo to Beirut. He was honored by the Lebanese President.
The captain’s sons, Hicham and Tarek, followed in his footsteps and became pilots. His two grandsons Wassim and Saad are also pilots.
May his soul rest in peace.
Meet MEA’s female pilots!
Speaking of Lebanese pilots, Rola Hoteit is MEA’s first female pilot! She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut and applied to MEA after seeing a newspaper advertisement for a pilot position, according to sources.
At first, her father disapproved of her choice, but he’s very proud of her now. The first two years of her career were challenging since passengers were not used to seeing women in the cockpit. However, things have changed over time.
A few months ago, a second female pilot named Erica Chbeir joined MEA. This will certainly inspire and encourage young girls to pursue a career in aviation!