CTC Aviation reports ‘significant increase’ in female graduates

CTC Aviation has announced that, since the launch of its CTC WINGS programme in 2003, the trainer has trained and placed around 100 women as co-pilots with its airline partners around the world.

Currently around 6% of CTC Aviation’s trainee pilots are women. Although this is above the world average (5%), the training organisation has stated that this is not good enough and is determined to see that number rise.

The ATO has been working to encourage more women to take an interest and, at the end of last year, the company saw over triple the number of women graduating through their CTC WINGS airline pilot career programmes compared to the class of 2014. Of the 19 women who completed their training in 2015, 18 are already launching exciting flying careers with airlines.

“We are beginning to see more women wanting to pursue an airline pilot career and our recent placement activity is truly reflecting this,” commented Carla Grist, Head of Airline Resourcing for CTC Aviation. “Not only have a significant number of women secured places on some of our most competitive Airline Partner programmes for British Airways, easyJet, Flybe, Qatar Airways, and Virgin Atlantic; but also half of our graduates selected to start their type ratings for Monarch since September 2015, are women.”

Last month, easyJet launched an initiative to help encourage more women to train for a career as a commercial airline pilot. The easyJet Amy Johnson Flying Initiative, in partnership with the British Women Pilots Association, is one of the first parts of a long term strategy to increase female pilots with six female, new entrant pilots having their training loan of around £100,000 underwritten by easyJet. Currently women make up six per cent of easyJet’s new pilot intake and the airline plans to double this to 12% over the next two years.

It’s similarly good news at another of CTC’s Partner Airlines, British Airways. Brigette Atkins, Emma Jupp, Kathleen Gold and Hannah Vaughn all graduated in December 2015 from the CTC WINGS in partnership with British Airways Future Pilot Programme. The pilots also appeared in a national television campaign last year to represent British Airways and support their campaign to make becoming an airline pilot a more visibly accessible career choice to the next generations of women.

British Airways First Officer Brigette Atkins, (main picture) said, “It has been an incredible journey so far, with some unforgettable experiences: During my training, I navigated solo flights around New Zealand, trained on both CTC Aviation’s and the airline’s full-motion multi-million pound flight simulators and have now flown my first commercial flight to Rome.

“As a British Airways A320 First Officer I will be flying our customers to a wide range of destinations throughout Europe and the Middle East.

“It has been hard work but I feel extremely privileged to be in this position. I would definitely recommend the British Airways Future Pilot Programme to anyone – male or female. It’s a route into an amazing career.”

Anthony Petteford, Chief Commercial Officer for CTC Aviation, says that the wider industry must take responsibility to help inspire more women to follow in the footsteps of current CTC Aviation trainees and graduate pilots. “With the airline industry continuing to forecast a worldwide shortage of pilots, the skills of female pilots may well be the key to filling the void. More than half the world’s population is female – it’s time that was reflected on our flight decks. We’d love to see more women bring their valuable skills to the profession. There has never been a better opportunity for women to enter the aviation industry. Even though we are starting to see an increase through our programmes, the number doesn’t nearly reflect the ability of women.”

Emma-Jane Lacy, who trained as a pilot with CTC Aviation and now works for the company as a Flight Instructor, says, “Gender doesn’t determine someone’s ability to work as a pilot. If you’re willing to put the hard work in, you’ll get results regardless of whether you are male or female. In fact, many of the women I have taught during my time as an instructor seem to have natural situational awareness. They can build an excellent mental picture of their surroundings, which is vital to flight safety.”

Petteford added, “The airline industry is attractive, with a high chance of job placement upon qualification, good long-term salary prospects, the opportunity to work with hi-tech systems, and a generally desirable job. I actively encourage any women considering a career in flying to apply to an airline pilot career programme.”