Ethiopian Airlines has dispatched its first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. The flight departed for Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday night.
The airline hopes the flight will promote women’s empowerment and encourage more African girls to pursue aviation careers.
“It’s very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the African woman,” said Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam. “Here in the continent of Africa, we are lagging behind in women empowerment. So this is going to inspire all the school girls in Africa that they have a very bright future in the 21st century,” Gebremariam said.
He added, “Above all, this is an ample opportunity to inspire young African female students to believe in their dreams and embark to fill the skill gap for aviation professionals.”
The flight was handled by women in every aspect – from planning, to aircraft maintenance, and from the pilots to air traffic controllers. Ethiopian senior female executives were passengers onboard the flight.
Ethiopian Airlines says about one third of its employees are women, although the number is smaller when it comes to positions such as pilots and technicians. One of the pilots, Captain Amsale Gualu said, “This flight shows us that if women get equal opportunities and work hard I’m sure they can achieve whatever they want in all fields including the aviation industry.”
You can watch a video of the preparations and flight here.