Women will no longer be a minority in the cockpit

Virgin Australia: every second participant in the 2019 training cycle must be a woman/photo: Depositphotos

Only every twentieth pilot in the world is female. That’s what Virgin Australia wants to change now with a women’s quota of training. The airline has set a quota of 50:50 when recruiting new pilots. In other words, every second participant in the 2019 training cycle must be a woman. Lufthansa does not want to go that far.

The reasons sound ridiculous today. Cockpit women are a risk because they aspire to emancipation and always want to be better than their male counterparts. This leads to harmful competitiveness, Lufthansa argued in 1985. Also allegedly too high physical stress and the incompatibility of the profession with a motherhood were conducted against female pilots in the field. Fortunately, these times are long gone. For 30 years, women have been flying airplanes. Alone in the US, there are now 6944 trained female pilots working for commercial passenger and cargo airlines. This is shown by the latest figures from the Federal Aviation Administration.

However, the absolute figures obscure the fact that female pilots are still a small minority. In the Lufthansa Group, only about six percent of the cockpit crews are female. Worldwide, the proportion is a bit lower. It is 5.2 percent according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots. It looks even gloomier at the flight captains. Only one in three pilots is a captain, according to the organization. The share has hardly increased in recent years. Virgin Australia wants to change that now. The airline has set a 50:50 quota when recruiting new pilots, meaning that every second participant in the 2019 training cycle must be a woman. Lufthansa does not want to go that far. “However, increasing the proportion of women in the cockpit is a central goal in the area of personnel,” a spokeswoman said.

The prospects for it are good. “Already 15 percent of our junior employees are female,” says Lufthansa. The global market development in aviation can also help with this, driven by the economically positive dynamics. Boeing predicts that commercial airlines will need 637,000 new pilots worldwide in the next 20 years. In Europe alone, there are 106,000 new employees in the cockpit.

Kerstin Felser, one of the first female pilots on Lufthansa’s A380 and meanwhile captain on Boeing 777 of Lufthansa Cargo, talked in the ZDF Mittagsmagazin about her motivation to become a pilot, right up to her annual event “Girls Day”, which aims to make young women a career start as a pilot on the airline.

Kerstin lives her dream

Ashley und Angelika – zwei Frauen im Cockpit


Sources: Virgin Australia, aero telegraph, ZDF, visionsblog.info

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