As Airline Industry Grows, Proportion of Women Pilots Remains Stagnant

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While the aviation industry may be growing by leaps and bounds with each passing year, the number of women entering the profession remains stagnant.

A new study of the world’s biggest airlines found that the number of women piloting flights is a paltry 5.2 percent globally.

The same report, produced by travel platform fromAtoB.com, found that among the nearly 4200 pilots working for Russian airliner Aeroflot, just 58 are women, or just 1.4 percent, while the number is not much higher for Emirates, at 2.3 percent.

Female American Airlines pilot with logo background

Among European airlines meanwhile, the British airline Flybe and the Luxembourgish Luxair came at the top, with each having 10 percent of women piloting their fleets.

About 11.6 percent of Australian regional carrier QantasLink’s pilots are women.

In the United States and Canada, Hawaiian Air leads the industry with 9.6 percent of its pilots being women, followed by Compass Airlines at 7.9 percent.

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Sadly, some of the best-known airlines in the United States, such as American, Delta and Southwest fall in the middle to the bottom of the pack employing 4.9, 4.8 and 4.1 percent women respectively.

Coming in at the bottom of the pack among U.S. and Canadian based carriers is Spirit Airlines with 3.1 percent of its pilots being women.

The aviation industry, on the other hand, is growing at a rate of 5 to 10 percent each year, according to the fromAtoB report.

“With the aviation industry constantly growing, a lack of women in the cockpit could have a negative impact,” states the report.

The data provided by the report was obtained from an annual report produced by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and also the 2019 annual report from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISWAP). All information was also confirmed or corrected by fromAtoB via email or telephone correspondence with the airlines involved.

The full results of the fromAtoB investigation can be found here.

FromAtoB’s report regarding the lack of female representation in aviation is just the latest data on this topic. Last March, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 290 airlines and 82 percent of global air traffic, reported that the proportion of women holding CEO roles in aviation hovered around just three percent, as compared to 12 percent in other industries.