FROM ASPIRING JOURNALIST TO GLAMOUROUS PILOT
Meet 32-year-old Eva Claire Marseille – the epitome of girl power. Ever so an “eternal dreamer” (as she dubbed herself), she’s living proof that dreams do come true if you work hard enough for it.
“For me, it hasn’t been extra challenging as a female pilot. Yes, you are one of the few women, and therefore you stand out, but the job that needs to be done is the same for both genders, so I don’t see any difference.”
Dutch airline pilot Eva Claire Marseille wears many hats. By profession, she is a pilot. By interest, she is an influencer armed with a love for writing, hoping that her social media presence could help inspire other girls to chase after their dreams as she did.
Initially, a literature and journalism undergrad, the turning point for Eva came when she visited a flight school. The rest, as they say, was history. Eva has been a pilot for close to five years now. She has since relocated and is now flying the Boeing 747 jumbo jet for her new Hong Kong-based airline. Feeling inspired? This is one story you don’t want to miss.
You are truly a girl who chases her dreams. From studying Literature and Journalism, you’re now a freight pilot. How did you end up so many miles away?
I’ve always dreamed of living in other countries, to see the world and meet different people. Since young, I was always hungry for other people’s stories and I excelled in writing, so I always thought that journalism was my destined path.
Deep down, I think there was always a fascination with the pilot profession, but I just pushed it away because I didn’t think it was attainable – I didn’t do so well in Maths and Chemistry. I was more of a Literature girl.
It was my mum who encouraged me to visit a flight school in the Netherlands, to see if it could be something for me. When I finally visited, I completely fell in love with the idea of flying aeroplanes for a living. Imagine the big surprise when I found out that I actually met all the requirements to apply, just because I did Physics and Maths in high school! So never ever underestimate yourself, because anything can be possible.
A day in the life of a pilot would be…
There is no typical day, as the destinations and schedules are always different. On every flight, we also assume different roles. There are two roles: ‘pilot flying’ and ‘pilot monitoring’, the first being the one responsible for setting up the aircraft, taxi, doing the take-off and landing while the latter does the radio communication, fills in the flight log and monitors the pilot flying. I was flying commercial passenger flights for four years, but now I’m flying the Boeing 747 doing short flights and turnarounds for cargo. Later this year I will be assigned on long-haul flights, with destinations like New York, or Anchorage in Alaska and I’m really looking forward to that.
Aviation seems to be a male-dominated industry. Are there challenges you face as a female pilot?
Only 5% of pilots worldwide are female. I would love to see these statistics change because more women should get to experience this amazing profession. For me, it hasn’t been extra challenging as a female pilot. Yes, you are one of the few women, and therefore you stand out, but the job that needs to be done is the same for both genders, so I don’t see any difference. One thing though, most of the time your colleague is almost always a man. You have to like working with men and all the other things that come with the job, like decision making, handling stress and challenging situations.
As seen on Eva: 838-1 Light Almond Round Buckle Foldable Flats
What are some things you love about the job?
The flying! The view from the flight deck never gets boring, and when you fly with a nice colleague, it can feel like a great day out. Not kidding! I rarely feel that this job is ‘work’. I enjoy the buzz of the day, how we all work closely with Air Traffic Control and ground staff to ensure everything goes smoothly, it feels great to be working as part of a big team. Of course, now that I’ve started to fly long haul with layovers, I’m looking forward to the new exotic destinations!
You recently moved to Hong Kong, What’s your impression of Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is unique in my eyes. It is a busy metropolis with so much to explore, but also with a lot of nature around – islands, beaches for me to catch the waves and hills to hike! In fact, I sometimes compare it to Barcelona, I love the outdoors and good nightlife, which both cities offer.
Check out Eva’s Recommendations for Hong Kong
Discover hidden gems and Instagram worthy spots as Eva takes you off the beaten path!
1. Lin Heung Tea House
Get a taste of Hong Kong’s famous char chan teng (tea restaurant) here and be in for a bit of culture shock with its loud and buzzing atmosphere. Take your pick from the trolleys of dimsum in the room and eat to your heart’s content. The best part? There’s no need to dress up to dine here!
Price Range: $$ - $$$
Address: 162 Wellington St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
2. Wan Chai’s Wooloomooloo Steakhouse
Unwind with friends over drinks at this rooftop bar, while basking in breath-taking views of the city. Pro-tip: the sunset view here is amazing, so get your cameras ready and be prepared to chalk up all the likes on Instagram!
Price Range: $$ - $$$
Address: 31/F & Rooftop The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
3. CÉ LA VI Hong Kong
It’s Ladies’ Night on Thursdays in the city that never sleeps! Enjoy your night in the bustling central district with some great cocktails.
Price Range: $$$$
Address: 25/F California Tower, No.32 D'Aguilar Street, Central District, Hong Kong
4. The Great Outdoors
If you’re into surfing, catch some good waves at Big Wave Beach. A 35-minute hike away from Chai Wan MTR station, this beach is perfect for beginner surfers as well.
For the avid hikers, explore picturesque options like ‘The Lantau Trail’ on Lantau Island or The Peak.
Price Range: The beauty of nature is free!
Address: Big Wave Beach – Big Wave Bay Road, Shek O, Hong Kong Island
Lantau Island – Lantau Island, Hong Kong
The Peak – Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Read more of Eva’s story on her blog www.flywitheva.com or follow her on Instagram @flywitheva.