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In a commendable attempt to promote the role of women in flying, Ethiopian Airlines will operate a scheduled flight between Addis Ababa and Bangkok tomorrow (19 November) that will be operated entirely by women, at every level.
Not only will it have an all-female crew (including, of course, Captain and First Officer), the flight will also have senior female executives of the airline on board.
The female touch will not just be confined to the air. The on-ground preparations, including airport operations, flight dispatcher, ramp operations, on-board logistics, aviation safety and security, catering and air traffic control (presumably only to the extent this is within Addis Ababa’s jurisdiction) will also be conducted exclusively by women.
Having operated for nearly 70 years, Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s biggest airline with a stated corporate approach of “women Empowerment for sustainable growth”.
While “positive discrimination” is always a slightly thorny issue, I can count the number of female pilots I have flown with on one hand. With that in mind, I think this is a really impressive effort by Ethiopian Airlines which will hopefully go some way towards the stated goal of “inspiring other young female students in their dreams to become aviation professionals”.