Several airlines have celebrated International Women’s Day this week with flights operated by all-female crew.
Air India flight AI709 on 4 March was piloted by captains Akanksha Verma and Satovia Banerjee, while the cabin crew comprised of four female employees.
On 6 March, Emirates released a video to highlight the importance of its female employees. Flight EK225 from Dubai to San Francisco (onboard the A380 superjumbo) was piloted by captain Patricia Bischoff from Canada and first officer Rebecca Lougheed from the UK (pictured), with the cabin crew led by Weronica Formela from Poland.
In addition to the in-flight crew, an all-woman team worked on all ‘above’ and ‘below wing’ activities in the lead-up to departure. In total, a group of 75 women from more than 25 nationalities worked on the flight.
Abdulaziz Al Ali, executive vice president of human resources at Emirates, commented: “Every flight that we operate needs an entire ecosystem of staff from a number of business units to come together and work seamlessly. Emirates is proud that we have women represented in all these key functions. Women have been part of the Emirates success story from the start and on International Women’s Day we celebrate their extensive contribution to Emirates and to the broader aviation industry.”
Meanwhile, British Airways says 62 women contributed to the operation of flight BA1484 from London to Glasgow on 5 March and Virgin Atlantic says it will celebrate International Women’s Day with three all-female crews on flights out of Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow.
Brussels Airline flight SN2579 took off this morning with an all-female crew bound for Berlin, while women will also operate flights to Accra and Abidjan. The flights make up part of the six to be put on by the Lufthansa Group to celebrate the event.
Diane Cauwenberghs, HR talent manager at Brussels Airlines, commented: “At Brussels Airlines we find it important to contribute to International Women’s Day by organising these symbolic actions because we firmly believe in gender equality. We understand that having a family and a career can be a balancing act and we strive to support all our colleagues, men and women, to ensure that each and every person is able to reach their full career potential, while maintaining a good work-life balance.”
Dr Bettina Volkens, member of the executive board for human resources and legal affairs of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, added: “We have already been able to increase the number of female applicants at our pilot flying school by addressing applicants in a more targeted manner and by making it easier to combine family and work. 15 per cent of our junior pilots are currently female.”