Girls just wanna have equal opportunity to become airplane pilots.
The sky’s the limit for the women of Southwest this week, as an all-female flight crew completed a trip on one of the carrier's new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
Southwest tweeted photos of the historic crew, which was piloted by two women and also had an all-female crew of flight attendants. The airline called it the first “unmanned” Southwest flight on this brand new fleet of planes. The flight flew from St. Louis to San Francisco on October 18.
The tweet was met with praise and enthusiasm, as well as many commenters who were shocked to find that such a phenomenon hadn’t happened until 2017.
Southwest quickly followed up with tweets to clarify that this was not the airline’s first-ever all-female flight crew, but the first on the Boeing 737 Max 8. However, the situation is still an unfortunately rare occurrence.
According to The Telegraph, estimates by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA) have found that our of about 130,000 pilots worldwide, only about 4,000 of them are women, meaning they make up just over 3 percent of that workforce. They also report that some airlines like easyJet and British Airways have launched programs to recruit more female pilots.
Additionally, Southwest itself did not have an African-American female pilot crew until March 20, 2016, when Captain Nicole Alicea and First Officer Nicole Sturrett made history on a flight from Phoenix to Oakland on Flight 3280.