Aishath Alaa Abdul Hannan – Deputy Manager of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Trans Maldivian Airways

Aishath Alaa Abdul Hannan is the Deputy Manager of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), the world’s largest seaplane operator offering transfer services to over 80 resorts in the Maldives.

Our team had a chat with Ms. Alaa to find out more about her career in the aviation industry so far, and to delve further into her personal challenges and successes as a woman working in a largely male-dominated field.

Could you tell us a bit about your career thus far?

I started my career in Villa Air as a Reservation & Ticketing Assistant. After that, I continued to work in the commercial side as a Scheduler for two years before moving to Flight Operations. Later, joined Flight Operations as an Officer and Flight Dispatcher and worked for almost two years before rejoining the commercial side as the Scheduling & Capacity Assistant Manager. I led a team of ten and was a part of the Operations Control Center of Villa Air.

After eight years in Villa Air, I made my move to Trans Maldivian Airways to join the Business Development Department. I currently work as the Deputy Manager, Corporate Strategy & Business Development.

Can you tell us a little about your experience in the aviation industry in the Maldives? 

I have worked in areas related to operations over the eight years I have been in the industry; Schedule planning, Flight Operations & Client Relations. For over four years of my career, I was working in an Operations Control Center where I worked both in technical & commercial roles. I do have experience in Flight Dispatching as well, and hold a MCAA License as a Flight Dispatcher.

What do you consider to be your greatest personal success?

My greatest success I believe is to have started in the industry as a Reservation & Ticketing Assistant and to be where I am now in only eight years’ time.

What are the challenges you face as a woman working in such a male-dominated field?

In general, I think people have become more accepting of females in the industry. Therefore, the challenges I face are comparatively less than my female colleagues who have been in the industry for a longer period of time. Having said that, the challenges that I do face, I do not like to associate with my gender. Rather, I take it as just another challenge to overcome.

What do you think the future holds for the Maldives’ tourism industry? 

Considering the number of tourist facilities opening, the properties that are scheduled to open in the coming years, and the aviation industry growing the way it is, I believe that the future of the tourism industry is brighter than ever.

What’s the best advice you can give to those looking to join the industry?

Be true to who you are. Take every obstacle you face as an opportunity to stop and re-evaluate. Patiently move towards your goal while absorbing and learning as much as you can, each and every step of the way.