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Female pilots flying high in Singapore

Currently, there are only 27 women pilots working in Singapore and more than half of them work at Tigerair.
Currently, there are only 27 women pilots working in Singapore and more than half of them work at Tigerair.

With only 27 female pilots in Singapore – making up 0.82 per cent of all pilots – what keeps them going and are these numbers are expected to grow?

Sitting in a cockpit and piloting an aeroplane may not be the first option for many women, but a small number of them are leading Singapore’s aviation industry.

One such trailblazer is First Officer Vanessa Khaw, who is one of Tigerair’s 16 female pilots. A former stewardess, piloting a commercial jet was never part of her career plan. It was her former colleagues who first suggested she become a pilot.

Ms Khaw recounted: “I was quite incredulous and said, ‘Are you crazy? Do female pilots actually fly?’ I was not even open to the idea because all these years, I have not been exposed to anyone who is flying, let alone females.

“So I did some research and I actually found a flying school in Johor Bahru in Senai airport. I signed up and I went for my first flight and after that I never looked back.”

But it has not been an easy road. Ms Khaw and her fellow female pilots make up 0.82 per cent of all pilots in Singapore. They all work for SilkAir, Jetstar Asia, Scoot and Tigerair. Currently, Singapore Airlines does not have any female pilots, even though a spokesperson from the national carrier said it does not have a policy against their recruitment.

Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore show that the number of pilots in Singapore has remained consistent over the past few years. The ratio of male to female pilots has also not changed very much. Currently, there are only 27 women pilots and more than half of them work at Tigerair.

Read more at original source: Channel News Asia