Out of the 212 pilots flying on behalf of freight carrier AeroLogic almost 10 percent are women. This is an outstanding female quota in comparison to other cargo airlines that are dominated by male cockpit personnel. This way, the freight carrier that first took to the air in June of 2009 sets an example for the industry.
When Carolin Schmid knocked at AeroLogic’s doors some years ago applying for a cockpit job she was told by the managers that the company doesn’t employ First Officers but candidates that are
determined to become future Captains. “This forward thinking philosophy gave me an extra motivation,” she recalls, because one day I would like to sit on the left side of the flight deck.” Today,
the 35 year-old is Senior First Officer and one of three Safety Pilots standing on the payroll of the DHL / Lufthansa Cargo joint venture (50/50 percent).
Mixed m/f crews are part of AeroLogic’s culture
Asked by CargoForwarder Global about the current ranks of the 20 female pilots belonging to the Leipzig, Germany-headquartered freight airline’s cockpit staff Flight Operations Chief Joe Moser says that one has got four golden stripes on her shoulder pads and uniform sleeves, while 13 are Senior First Officers and 6 are First Officers.
The intermix of males and females is part of AeroLogic’s DNA, the manager emphasizes. Why this is so Joe provides a surprising and remarkable view: “From day one back in 2009 we deliberately employed female applicants to distinguish our company very clearly from the image of the trucking environment.”
In the same breath, he also declares that any female applicant has to undergo identical testing and screening processes every male candidate has to go through. “We have high performance and qualification standards and do not give female applicants any preference in the recruitment process,” he clearly and unequivocally declares.
Praise from male colleagues
Joe, who is working for AeroLogic from the very start, has observed over the years that gender mixed crews are mostly interacting in a respectful and considerate manner thus improving the overall working atmosphere within the airline. This is confirmed by some of the carrier’s cockpit staff, like First Officer Oliver Rabitsch who states that female colleagues like Carolin Schmid “bring some color into our daily pilot routine. They sometimes have a different perspective in decision-making situations, adding to their professional skills and technical knowhow some degree of empathy.” Captain Andreas Schreiber has noticed that female cockpit personnel lead to a “more relaxed atmosphere” on board the AeroLogic Boeing 777 freighters.
Finally, Captain Stefan Schulte has observed that years ago when the first female pilots started flying they understood their job in very male-oriented norms. This, Captain Schulte says, has changed over the years with female pilots not trying to be better males.
More pilots are to come
Touching AeroLogic’s future development, Joe Moser says, he is very confident, since the shareholders’ efforts clearly indicate a strong commitment to Aerologic on a long-term perspective. Joint shareholders are Deutsche Post logistics pillar DHL and Lufthansa Cargo (50/50%).
Joe and his colleague Wolfgang Raebiger, a Lufthansa Cargo manager, are going to take command at the freight carrier next month, succeeding outgoing CEO Ulf Weber who will become head of ASL Belgium as of 1st May.
And Senior First Officer Carolin?
“I am proud to be an AeroLogic team member,” she stresses. “It’s a company with high standards and an excellent working atmosphere among colleagues.” Prior to getting hired by AeroLogic she was pilot at Contact Air, a pax carrier that ceased ops in 2012 According to her personal experience, it is of little importance if sitting in the cockpit of a passenger aircraft or a freighter. “Flying is something you can only do with passion,” she exclaims. “Once the doors are closed and the aircraft is taking off it is an awesome feeling to be able to fly this big Boeing 777 freighter, knowing that I can control it.”