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Meet Kate McWilliams, one of the world’s youngest airline captains

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Kate McWilliams, one of easyJet’s female pilots, has just passed her command course, which easyJet says makes her one of the youngest Commercial Airline Captains at just 26 years old.

Kate’s love for aviation began at the young age of four, when she was taken to her first air show by her godfather. She planned on joining the RAF, however there were no recruitment opportunities when Kate left school in 2008.  Kate then joined CTC Aviation on her 19th birthday and began her career in commercial aviation. She joined easyJet in May 2011 as a first officer and began her command course on 25th April 2016 recently passing to take up the rank of Captain.

Just 5% of commercial pilots in the industry are female and last year easyJet announced an initiative to change this by doubling the proportion of female new entrants to 12% over two years. This was implemented to encourage the development of female pilots at all ranks and positions at easyJet and will widen the pipeline of women who enter the pilot community.

Mcwilliams said, “I joined the air cadets when I was 13 where I got plenty of flying experience. At that point I didn’t imagine a career in commercial aviation as I didn’t know any commercial pilots who I could ask for advice. I never even thought it could be an option available to me.

“Since the day I started at CTC when I was 19 I have never looked back! I love being a commercial pilot for easyJet, and I am proud that I have now achieved my ambition of becoming a captain.

“I would strongly urge females interested in aviation to think about pursuing a career as a pilot, and any existing pilots to push themselves to become a captain. easyJet’s are a great airline to fly for and they are passionate about helping people achieve their dreams.”

“The British Women Pilots’ Association congratulates Kate on gaining command at 26 years of age and hope that her achievement inspires more women to consider pursuing a career in aviation,” said Julie Westhorp, Chairwoman BWPA. “Both the BWPA and easyJet are aware of the importance of visible role models for girls and young women when making career choices and continue to work together to encourage young women to consider a pilot career.

“Kate’s achievement clearly demonstrates to other young women that it is possible to succeed as a pilot in commercial aviation.

“We wish Kate continuing success in her career and are delighted that she is now an excellent role model for other females.”