Chirag Kalani, born in India, is a 19-year-old pilot who currently works at Air Arabia, Sharjah to travel the world every day and fulfill his lifelong dream.
He moved to Dubai with his family in 2005, when his passion for aviation started increasing. Immediately after finishing his IGCSE’s in Cambridge International School, Dubai he joined Alpha Aviation Academy in Sharjah.
During an interview, Kalani said, “Since the age of 10, every time I would travel on a plane, I would ask the flight attendants if could I visit the cockpit.”
He joined Alpha Aviation Academy in 2013 when he was 16 years old and was taught in United Arab Emirates and Greece.
“It was tough to commute every day, but I had a lot of support from my family,” said Kalani “They were the best three years of my life, I was finally doing something I loved.”
However, Kalani faced numerous challenges during his schooling.
“I wasn’t very bright in school; I always considered it a joke because they made me study subjects like accounting, which I wasn’t interested in.”
He added, “ But as soon as I started my aviation training, I was on top of my game.”
Following his training, Kalani was instantly offered a job with Air Arabia in 2015, and as exciting as it was, it was also overwhelming.
“I always knew that being a pilot is tough because you don’t have 9 AM to 5 PM fixed timings, you can get called at any time of the day for a flight,” said Kalani “But I was never mentally prepared for it until I started my job at Air Arabia.”
He started his job at Air Arabia during mid-June, 2016.
“I couldn’t believe it, my son was going to be flying around the world,” said the mother, Neetu Kalani, while hugging her son.
He smiled and said, “ My extended relatives would always say aviation is risky and demotivated me because I was very young, but I believe that planes are the safest mode of transportation.”
Many of Kalani’s teachers underestimated him, but currently, he’s the most successful alumni in the batch of 2013.
“Chirag has honestly surprised all of us here at Cambridge, he always used to tell me that he wants to be a pilot,” said Reene John, a physics teacher at Cambridge International School “I continuously tell my students to be inspired by him.”
Now he is looking to encourage other underestimated students, who don’t believe in themselves. “I want to inspire other students, and the one thing I tell them is that the studying never stops,
you’ll always keep learning in aviation or any other profession. There is no age limit to
Nevertheless, Kalani wants to achieve more and reach higher grounds.
“Till now, I’ve only piloted the A320, but the day I test the A380, my dream will come true. Aviation is my passion, and I will keep pursuing it,” said Kalani looking at the large poster of an A380 in his house.