BRITISH AIRWAYS has taken Intentional Women’s Day to new heights by having the UK’s biggest all-female crew on one of their flights.
From the check-in staff and baggage handlers, to stewardesses and pilots, a total of 61 women from BA were involved with a London Heathrow to Glasgow flight on Monday.
The BA1484 trip had 204 passengers on board including former Countdown host Carol Vorderman, 57, who qualified as a pilot in 2014.
The TV star has close aviation ties, being an ambassador for the Royal Air Force Cadets and is passionate about encouraging women in the industry.
Arriving in Glasgow, she said: “What an incredible day, I loved getting a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at British Airways and meeting all the amazing women who, like me, have such a passion for encouraging more young women into aviation.”
Not only is it International Women’s Day, but also is exactly 108 years since BA appointed their first female pilot, Elise Raymonde Deroche.
In honour of the special flight, BA released a behind-the-scenes video of the flight in action.
Cameras gave a fascinating insight into the take off procedure from Heathrow, including showing the three female pilots giving announcements.
British Airways Captain, Julie Levy, said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of the team on our all-female flight.
“As a mum of two teenage daughters I think it’s crucial that we grab every opportunity we can to inspire the next generation.
“There wasn’t any visibility of female pilots when I was growing up, so I think events like this are important to help show the range of different careers that are available to women. I’m proud to be part of an organisation doing something about that.”
Seven young women, aged between 16 and 18, joined Carol on the flight and the young aviation-enthusiasts said they had been inspired by the experience.
The students, who have all previously completed work experience placements with British Airways, watched as the all-female team prepared the aircraft for departure.
They observed as women loaded bags into the aircraft hold, undertook engineering and safety checks and finally pushed back the 767, so that it could taxi to the runway.
Amy Charlton from Chenderit Sixth Form, Middle Cheney in Oxfordshire, said: “The whole day had such an exciting atmosphere to it, a real buzz!
“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of the women involved, I didn’t realise there were so many careers to choose from.
“The female pilot even let me sit in the left hand seat with the captain’s hat on, hopefully one day that will become a reality for me.”
As they left the flight in Scotland, Carol was greeted by British Airways’ Glasgow Airport manager, Phyllis Stuart, who has just marked her own career milestone: a quarter century at the airline.
Carol said: “Spending the day with the students was great fun, they’re all so enthusiastic and they’ve got a wonderful future ahead of them. The world, or plane, is theirs for the taking!”
International Women’s Day is held each year on March 8.
It is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements and calls for gender equality.
The day has been observed since the early 1900s and aims to bring together governments, women's organisations and charities.
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