Monday 7 March 2011
Tomorrow, on International Women's Day, a fully female crew will operate flight AF 188 between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong. The crew on board a B777-300 will comprise 18 women altogether.
This "100% female-operated" flight is not the first of its kind: on 8 March, Air France has for several years now organized numerous female-operated flights out of Paris. After Beijing, Tokyo, Bombay, Miami and New York, Hong Kong is this year in the spotlight, welcoming a crew made up of 3 female pilots and 15 air hostesses.
Flights operated by women only occur on various occasions throughout the year, depending on flight crew rosters, but the strictly-female operated flight on 8 March has become a tradition at Air France.
These fully-female operated flights are always much appreciated, not only by our passengers but also at the airport on arrival. Isabelle de Boves, first officer on the Boeing 777, has this to say:
"Even if the flight is is operated in the exact same conditions as any other for the passengers, seeing a women-only crew leaves a lasting impression on people. At the airport and hotel, people are always very kind with us. During these flights, our cabin crew colleagues show a strong sense of solidarity and the crew cohesion is always stronger as a result."
Air France has approximately 4,200 pilots of which 7% are female. The first female pilot, Danielle Décuré, joined the airline in 1974, and the number of female pilots has continued to grow ever since. Female flight captains pilot every type of aircraft, including the most recent aircraft to join the Air France fleet, the Airbus 380.
This initiative for International Women's Day has been imitated by Air France's partners. Flights operated by a "100%-female crew" have been organized at KLM and Alitalia since last year. Since 2010, Air France, KLM and Alitalia female crews have the occasion to meet at an evening event held in New York. Some thirty women, operating flights out of Paris, Amsterdam and Milan, can exchange views on their profession and habits.