Air India and its subsidiaries Air India Express and Air Asia India flew over 90 flights crewed entirely by women to mark the “International Women’s Day” yesterday, March 8 2023. AviationSource writer Gaurav Gowda reports.
The management chose 90 flights as a target, to further commemorate the 90th anniversary of national award winning JRD Tata’s first commercial flight.
Highest number of female captains in the world
It doesn’t come as surprise that any airline in India was able to operate huge number of flights with all female crew, as India has highest rate of female captain in the world.
With almost 12.4% of the flight crew contingent being women, this number is in fact almost twice that of global average.
This has been made possible due to many programs undertaken by the airline in the country to train and hire female pilots, and many initiatives like extended maternity leave has benefited this statistic.
15% of Air India’s total pilot number (275) are women – this is a big achievement for any company. The airline said in a statement:
“Of the 90+ flights operated by all-women cockpit and cabin crew, Air India is flying 40 flights across domestic and international locations, whereas AI Express is operating 10 all-international flights to the Gulf route and AirAsia India is operating over 40 flights within India.”
Air India’s CEO and Managing Director Mr. Campbell Wilson said “India has the largest number of commercial women pilots in the world and with more Indian women pursuing careers in aviation we are achieving gender equality in the workforce.”
“We are proud of the women workforce with us at Air India today, and we thank each of them for sending out a powerful message that women can excel in any field.”
The press release by the airlines also highlighted that “in tune with the years international Women’s Day theme ‘DigitAll: innovation and technology for gender equality.
It exemplifies the myriad ways in which women have contributed to the aviation sector and enriched it and emphasizes the diversity and inclusion of the airlines women’s workforce.
“Several women play a key role in various departments, including in the domains of finance, commercial, human resources, customer happiness, flight training, technology, flight dispatch, engineering, safety and operations control,” said Mr Wilson.
Other Indian airlines
International Women’s Day was not only commemorated by Air India, but many airlines like IndiGo and Go First operated all women’s flight to celebrate the occasion.
The airlines in the country have up their game when it comes to recruiting pilots. With huge aircraft orders already in pipeline and some yet to be announced, they are expecting a shortage of Pilots in the country.
One such initiative to help recruit women goes long for the company as well the community. It is now rumored that after Air India’s mega order IndiGo, the country’s largest carrier both in terms of passengers carried and fleet size, is all set to place a mega order.
Even Akasa air has confirmed to place three-digit order by end of the year – this will certainly create new opportunities in the coming years for India.