ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES marked International Women’s Day by operating an all-women flight from Addis Ababa to Washington DC.
The flight, which took place on March 7, was operated by female professionals in the sky as well as on the ground.
Women handled all the ground operations including flight dispatch, load control, ramp operation, on-board logistics, safety and security, catering as well as air traffic control.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s largest aviation groups, conducted the flight to highlight the airline’s progress in empowering women, and recognising their contribution to the socio-economic development of the continent.
Speaking about the flight, the sixth consecutive time the airline has held the flight, Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “Ethiopian firmly believes that such remarkable flights inspire African women and young girls to dream big and realize their dreams not only in aviation, but also in science, technology, engineering, art and other fields.”
GebreMariam said Ethiopian Group is an equal opportunity employer, and that Ethiopian Group was determined to create an enabling environment for women to become the next generation aviation experts.
“While we celebrate the economic, social and political achievements of women in Africa, we take a bold move towards further championing gender equality in Ethiopia and Africa at large” he said.
The airline has seen a remarkable rise in the number of women in different leadership positions. Ethiopian has been operating all-female flights since 2015.
The airline has so far flown to Bangkok, Kigali, Lagos, Buenos Aires and Oslo with all female crew.
We firmly believes that such remarkable flights inspire African women and young girls to dream big and realize their dreams not only in aviation, but also in science, technology, engineering, art and other fields.Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group CEO
Last year Dr Saba Fikru, the head of the airline’s medical and health services, said that 35% of the company’s 16,000-strong workforce is female.
She said: “These days, an increasing number of women are completing their pilot training successfully. Now we can hear a female voice coming from the flight deck or the cockpit.”
However Ethiopian Group is not the only airline to run all-female flights.
During last year’s International Women’s Day, Air India said it had become the first airline to fly around the world with an all-female crew.