To demonstrate their support of female rights, the LH Group of Airlines staffed the cockpits of some of their aircraft with all-female crews. It was their contribution to the International Women’s Day (IWS), celebrated last Thursday in many countries.
Berlin-Munich, Zurich-Hamburg, Brussels-Abidjan or Vienna-London – just to name a few routes flown by all-female cockpit crews last week.
Chapeau ! It was a strong signal to the world delivered by Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, and Eurowings. Illustrating to passengers, air traffic controllers and cargo clients alike that women are equally fit and competent to fly aircraft safely through the skies as are their male colleagues. A demonstration of “Yes, We Can!”
Female careers are often still determined by men
What is common practice in Europe, most parts of the Americas, Australia and some of the Asian countries, does still not apply to nations where females are treated second or even third class, forced to obey the rules set by a male dominated and dictated environment. Some are still banned from sitting up front in a plane, being tolerated as flight attendants at best.
“At Brussels Airlines we find it important to contribute to IWD by organizing these symbolic actions because we firmly believe in gender equality. We understand that having a family and a career can be a balancing act and we strive to support all our colleagues, men and women, to ensure that each and every person is able to reach their full career potential, while maintaining a good work-life balance,” explains Diane Cauwenberghs, HR Talent Manager at Brussels Airlines. An unequivocal statement where there is nothing to be added.
Brussels Airlines is leading the pack
The Belgian carrier plays a model role in women’s promotion: At 10%, the airline’s percentage of female pilots is one of the highest in the aviation industry, where the global average is just over 3%. As from the first of April Brussels Airlines will also have a female CEO. Christina Foerster will be the first woman ever to head a Lufthansa Group airline.
At parent company Lufthansa, the first two women entered the cockpit back in 1988 when the duo began their scheduled service. Only two years later, a freighter of LH Cargo took off at Frankfurt Airport with an all-female crew on board, a first for any freight airline worldwide, setting a bold exclamation mark to the industry.
Today, 22 female First Officers or Captains belong to the freight carrier’s pilot corps, accounting for almost five percent of the cockpit staff.
It is not known if female pilots were in charge of transporting thousands of roses from Latin America or Africa to Frankfurt, Munich and other German airports. However, known is that after arriving at the different locations Lufthansa ground staff handed over the flowers to female travelers last Thursday walking through passenger terminals during the International Women’s Day.