India's national carrier Air India marked International Women's Day with an all-female crew operating the world's longest regularly scheduled direct flight, from New Delhi to San Francisco.
Air India Chief Ashwini Lohani described the 17-hour flight as a "symbol of women's empowerment."
Additionally, On March 8, Air India dispatched 22 more flights into the skies with all women crews.
This is not the first time a female crew has taken the skies by storm. In the recent past, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe have boasted of an all-women crew flying intercontinental and local flights respectively.
In South Africa, one businesswoman decided to take the aviation business to the next level by helping more female pilots get into the skies, through her business, SRS Aviation.
Zimbabwe’s first all-female flight deck paints the sky pink
In November 2015, Air Zimbabwe made headlines with its first-ever female flight between the national capital of Harare and the famous tourist attraction site, Victoria Falls.
Air Zimbabwe Boeing 737 was piloted by Captains Elizabeth Simbi Petros and Chipo M. Matimba. The thrilled pilot and co-pilot respectively shared joy at their achievement on social media.
The government-owned airline joined the captains in their joy by posting photos of the pilots on their (Airline’s) Facebook page.
Intercontinental flight in Ethiopia
With an aim to celebrate women, Ethiopian Airlines dispatched its first- female flight late last year. The flight preparations on the ground, flight deck, crew members and senior executives on-board were all women.
The female crew operated the intercontinental flight from Addis Ababa to Bangkok, Thailand.
According to the Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, this was to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more African girls to pursue aviation careers.
“It’s going to be very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the African woman. Because, as you know, here in the continent of Africa, we are lagging behind in women empowerment. So this is going to inspire all the school girls in Africa that they have a very bright future in the 21st century,” Gebremariam said in a statement.
The Ethiopian Airlines said that about a third of its employees are women. To make the lives of working mother’s simpler, the Airline has introduced a nursing room with modern amenities like comfortable reclining chairs and refrigerators for the storage of breast milk. New mothers also get free electronic breast pumps.
Rejected flight attendant, comes back with an aviation company
Sibongile Sambo wanted to become a flight attendant but she did not meet the minimum height requirement. Disappointed but not broken, Sambo decided to start her own business which has helped women get into the skies.
The South African businesswoman founded SRS Aviation which has grown to provide more than just normal flight services. Today, SRS Aviation provide personalized services including helicopter, tourist and luxury flights to destinations spanning the globe. The Johannesburg-based crew have flown as far as Germany and the U.S.
Header image Credit: Ethiopian Airlines via Facebook