Photograph — Ethiopian Airlines Facebook

On the 8th of March 2019, Ethiopian Airlines will operate an all-female functioned flight, from Addis Ababa through Stockholm to Oslo to commemorate International Women’s Day with the theme “All women functioned flight to operate from the continent of Africa to meet with their counterparts in Europe to show the power of women to the world.”

The flight will be operated by the airline’s female professionals. From the flight deck to the ground operations including flight dispatch, load control, ramp operation, onboard logistics, safety and security, as well as air traffic control, everything will be handled entirely by women.

According to Tewolde Gebremariam, the Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, the organization is immensely proud to have female trailblazers in every aspect of its aviation field. “Women are an integral part of our success story from the start and with this dedicated flight, we honour and celebrate their indispensable contribution to our aviation group and the broader aviation industry, our country and the continent at large,” he said.

Operating an all-female flight to celebrate women and promote African women empowerment has become a standard ritual for Ethiopian Airlines which prides itself as a gender-responsive organisation striving to pursue an underlying stance of employment equality. “Although women are Africa’s greatest resource, gender inequality still persists in our continent. Therefore, we all need to ensure that women take their rightful position in all human endeavour by creating the right conditions and through all-inclusive engagement models,” said Gebremariam.

The airline’s first all-female operated flight was in November 2015, from Addis Ababa to Bangkok. At the time, about a third of its employees were women and an even smaller figure of female pilots and technicians. But since then, the organization has been dedicated to increasing the number of women in decision making positions on top of key operational areas by consistently grooming and mentoring successful female employees for top managerial, technical and operational positions.

Members of the all-female flight crew
Credit – Ethiopian Airlines Facebook

Ethiopian Airlines hopes that by celebrating women this way, more African women and young girls all over the world will be inspired and encouraged to pursue careers in aviation. Since making history with its first all-female operated flight in 2015, the airline has operated three flights to Kigali, Lagos, and Buenos Aires, which were operated by female aviation professionals.“…We are very proud of these women’s achievements and contributions and it is our sincere belief that this will continue with an enhanced magnitude and passion to sustain Ethiopian on its fast growth trajectory.”

Ethiopian Airlines is the only African airline with a service that caters to new mothers, with a nursing room equipped with modern amenities like comfortable reclining chairs and refrigerators for storing breast milk. New mothers also get free electronic breast pumps. It is also the fastest growing and one of the most successful Airlines in Africa with over 70 years of operation. 

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