African air­lines are tak­ing to the sky with women at the helm

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - @WORK -

On Novem­ber an Ethiopian Air­lines ight rom Ad­dis Ababa to Bangkok in Thai­land be­came the air­line’s rst ight op­er­ated by an all emale crew. Cap­tain Am­sale Gualu, the rst fe­male cap­tain in the air­line’s his­tory, was as­sisted by co-pi­lot Se­lam Tes­faye and the cabin was run by an allfe­male crew. ‘Here in Africa, we are lag­ging be­hind in women em­pow­er­ment,’ Ethiopian Air­lines CEO Te­wolde Ge­bre­mariam said in a state­ment. ‘This is go­ing to in­spire all the school­girls in Africa that they have a very bright fu­ture.’

Ethiopian Air­lines is not the only car­rier to push or the em­pow­er­ment o its emale sta . Also in Novem­ber last year, Air Zim­babwe took off with an all-fe­male ight-deck crew on board a Boe­ing from Harare to ictoria Falls. Cap­tain Chipo Matimba and cap­tain Eli abeth Simbi Pet­ros were the rst allfe­male ight team in the air­line’s his­tory. SAA had its rst all-fe­male ight in 2001, when cap­tain ane Trem­bath ew a Boe­ing -200 from ohannesburg to Port Eli abeth with rst of cer Merel van der Merwe. More than o com­mer­cial pi­lots are male – with the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of omen Air­line Pi­lots re­port­ing only 4 000 fe­male com­mer­cial pi­lots com­pared with 1 0 000 males world­wide.

the air­line said, was an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote women’s em­pow­er­ment and to en­cour­age more women to pur­sue avi­a­tion ca­reers. Am­sale agrees: ‘This is a good op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate aware­ness. This shows that ev­ery­thing can be done by women.’

Cap­tain Chipo Matimba and cap­tain El­iz­a­beth Simbi Pet­ros of Air Zim­babwe

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