Australian Emirates pilot reveals luxurious life as A380 Captain in Dubai

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Australian Emirates pilot Emily Sidoti has revealed one of the great perks about working for the airline is flying her family around the world for free, and in luxury.

The Sydneysider moved to Dubai to fly for Emirates in 2019 and in September last year was promoted to A380 Captain, the highest ranking pilot on the aircraft. She is also the first Australian woman to achieve this role at Emirates.

While she considers the sense of pride she has for commanding the largest passenger jet in the world one of the best perks of the job, she also reveals the top gig provides access to a pretty luxurious lifestyle.

“In Dubai, we have access to luxury beach clubs, world-renowned restaurants, iconic shopping malls, and the world’s largest water parks and theme parks,” Ms Sidoti told of life in the lux city with her husband and three daughters.

“My children are also gaining a huge amount of positive life experience living overseas in a multicultural environment.

“My family also enjoys the opportunity to travel first and business class anywhere in the world.”

Emirates is ranked among the world’s top airlines with a first class round-trip ticket between Dubai and Sydney costing upwards of $20,000 for one person or $40,000 for a couple.

Ms Sidoti flew this route for the first time as A380 Captain on Sunday, marking a huge milestone in the 37-year-old’s career.

“As a new Captain or First Officer, we are restricted in the first six months of our new role and fly short to medium-haul flights only allowing us to consolidate and gain maximum exposure,” she explained.

“Ultra Long Haul flights [like Dubai to Sydney] require four pilots to share the workload and half the time is spent in crew rest.”

Ms Sidoti said people may be surprised to know pilots actually start their job before they even get to the airport.

“Before each flight a pilot is required to spend several hours of flight preparation at home before going to the airport,” she said.

“This ensures familiarity of the route we are flying, including country rules and regulations, weather, airports and airspace requirements and restrictions.”

Ms Sidoti’s biggest inspiration to become a pilot was her grandfather, who served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II.

“Upon completing Year 12 I had to find a way to fund my commercial pilot license at the age of 18,” she said. “After numerous rejections by the bank’s director I received an unsecured loan based solely on my determination.”

She then completed a full-time diploma in aviation while working in hospitality.

Her first job in the industry was as a flight instructor and before flying commercially, Ms Sidoti piloted charter flights.

She said that work included, “flying juvenile offenders with their police escorts, urgent medical transfers between rural and city hospitals, and flying traffic reporters for one of Sydney’s top radio stations”.

Since then, Ms Sidoti, who grew up in Manly and lived along the Northern Beaches until she moved to Dubai, has had many incredible experiences, including witnessing remarkable sights out the cockpit window.

“There are so many amazing things I have seen, to name a few; The Northern Lights, St. Elmo’s Fire, snow-capped Himalayas, shooting stars, and mesmerising sunsets and sunrises around the world,” she said.

The experienced pilot says she is still stunned by the size of A380, even now as Captain.

“While the A380’s advanced technology makes it easier to fly in many aspects it also presents unique challenges such as manoeuvring on the ground due to its sheer size and managing complex systems during abnormal situations,” she said. “I feel a great sense of pride, responsibility, and passion for operating such an iconic and impressive aircraft.”