By Jennifer Cairns 12 Jan 2023 6 min read

How I went from Flight Attendant to Pilot by the age of 27

Meet Billy Mohammad, Commercial Pilot based in South Africa. 


Where did the dream start for you?

My love for aviation began as a young boy looking up to the skies in awe of these magnificent machines.

The one trip back to my parents home country from Hong Kong to Pakistan every few years was better than any theme park there’s ever been.

Being born and raised in a competitive city as Hong Kong was not the easiest of days. Survival was the dinner table topic for most immigrant families residing in Hong Kong from South East Asia. 

My family couldn’t afford my education to go through the original route to pilot jobs so I took the employment option early on in life hoping to score something even remotely close to aeroplanes.


What were your first steps to get into the industry?

I was blessed and fortunate to be given an opportunity in 2015 at age 19 to work as a flight attendant for an airline in Hong Kong which sparked up the fire of hope and motivation when I started meeting people from all walks of life telling me it’s never too late to start working towards your dream.

I was then the breadwinner of the family and had started doing odd side jobs to earn some more money to build up my savings to start flight training one day. And flight training is not cheap AT ALL! 

I learnt numerous invaluable and essential industry skills as the years went by as a flight attendant and that would one day aid and assist me in understanding certain concepts in a much more effective manner.

Eventually as I had the means necessary to start my flight training, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and that did change a lot of things, but not the passion.

I waited for things to settle down a little and in 2021, I started my flight training as a pilot in South Africa attaining my Commercial Pilots License in 2022.

Even throughout the pandemic, I had always kept the hope up. I had always thought towards the positive of things and still am. I had always tried building a better self so when the opportunity comes, I’m fully ready and capable of giving it my best to whatever pilot jobs come along.


What would you say to an aspiring Pilot or newly qualified Pilot?

For those out there that are in training or freshly done, you’re not alone in this.

We’re all together and we’ll all make it one day. Keep the passion high, keep the work hard and focus on the dream you have! Hard work will one day pay off. 

And for those looking to take this as a career, prepare yourselves well ahead of time. Read as much as you can and understand as much as you can before you start your journey. Knowledge is endless in this line of work. It will save you a lot of precious time and hard earned bucks. But you’ll be well ahead of where you would’ve been otherwise.

Happy flying and good luck to everyone out there!


Apply for Pilot jobs today and get yourself in the sky! 


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