Two Female Pilots Dazzle the Airline Industry
Women of the 21st century are conquering almost everything, even soaring high by becoming pilots. In Asia, due to a skyrocketing number of travels, the industry is desperately short of pilots. Now, the industry is encouraged to hire women pilots, and why not?
In fact, nothing could stop First Officer Sophia Kuo, a 35-year-old co-pilot on the Taiwanese carrier’s Boeing 747s, from flying and enjoying the expression of awe from onlookers.
When on duty, Ms. Kuo hears whispers like “Wow, we have female pilots.” … “How does she fly an airplane?” … “She must be really smart!”
Even Vietnam Airlines Captain Huynh Ly Dong Phuong stands out among her male colleagues.
Her passion for flying inspired her to be a pilot. Amid the indifference she feels around the company of male colleagues, she is unstoppable in pursuing a career in aviation.
“My difficulty is making people accept the fact I am a pilot first and a female second, not the other way around.” – Ms. Phuong
Need For Pilots Soaring High as Travel Booms Globally
Bloomberg reports the number of air travelers is expected to double to seven http://screencast.com/t/4d0UUu9utTRbillion by 2034.
To meet the demands of the airline industry, it is projected that Asia will need around 226,000 pilots by 2034. This is attributed by evident global growth in airline industry.
Europe and North America are next in line with with 100,000 pilots needed by the industry in the next two decades.
CIS or the Russian Commonwealth and Africa will need the least number of pilots in the coming decades.
Hiring Female Pilots is the Answer
Due to travel boom in Asia where it is transporting 100 million new passengers annually, gender bias should be set aside and the airline industry must consider hiring female pilots.
This was affirmed by Sherry Carbary, vice president of flight services for Boeing Co. Because Asia is going to need another 226,000 pilots in the next two decades, there is no room for gender bias and hiring women pilot is the best option.
And Some Airlines Are Promoting Female Pilot
To encourage women to become pilots, a U.K.-based EasyJet Plc has set up a scholarship with the British Women Pilots Association. Thus, encouraging women to join the aviation industry as pilots in the future.
In addition, Vietnam Airlines Corp., one of the of the world’s 10 fastest-growing aviation markets, creates ‘friendly’ schedules for women pilots that considers demands of family life. The company considers schedules for maternity leave for female pilot and to fulfill responsibilities at home.
Some carriers also promote a career in aviation as the best career choice among women. In fact, British Airways Plc displays a photo of a female pilot on its hiring website. Also, EVA Air is doing its best to hire another next ‘Kuo’ in the future by recruiting from universities in Taiwan with ads showing Kuo. EVA is prominent for hiring female pilots where it has about 50 women among its 1,200 pilots.
It is Not a Walk in a Park to be a Pilot
It is not an easy career choice, of course. To fly an airline, one has to go through rigid training and experience. In fact, it is a prerequisite for most flight captains to have 3,000 hours or more of commercial flying experience.
Clark, a captain with Transavia, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group said women who are recruited today on legacy carriers wouldn’t be ready to take charge of a plane for 12 to 15 years. This sounds like a century for sure.
In addition, there are hurdles too. There is a notion it is harder for women to make the step to the pilot’s role especially in Asia. In the region, traditional attitudes toward a woman’s role are dominant and being a pilot is viewed ‘as a single man’s game.’
But amid the difficulties, one can be like Sophia Kuo or Captain Huynh Ly Dong Phuong in the future!