Ethiopian Airlines makes pioneering all-female flight

Ethiopian Airlines has made its first ever domestic flight to be staffed by an all-female crew, from the pilots flying the plane to the dispatchers on the ground.

The flight, which journeyed between Addis Ababa and Lagos on 16 December, got lift-off thanks to an entirely female workforce: the flight dispatchers on the ground, the check-in staff in the terminal and the cabin crew and pilots on the plane itself.

The five-and-a-half-hour journey was made by a Boeing 777 and formed part of a drive to encourage African women to consider a career in what is currently a male-dominated industry.

This domestic flight comes after the airline carried out a similar feat back in 2015 on an international flight to Thailand.

A spokesperson for the airline explained that the company hopes the move will inspire young women to follow their dreams.

“This is an ample opportunity to inspire young African female students to believe in their dreams and embark to fill the skill gap for Aviation professionals. Women are the continent’s greatest untapped resources, and hereby fully dedicated to ensuring the increased number of women in decision-making positions on top of key operational areas by consistently grooming and mentoring successor female employees for top managerial, technical and operational positions,” they said.

The pilot on the Addis Ababa-Lagos flight was the same Captain who also flew the international all-female flight to Thailand, Amsale Gualu, and she echoed the sentiment that women can achieve whatever it is they want to achieve.

“This flight shows us that if women get equal opportunities and work hard, I’m sure they can achieve whatever they want in all fields including the aviation industry,” she said.