International Women’s Day

Highlight: Ethiopian Airlines operates inaugural flight from Addis Ababa to Buenos Aires with all female crew

March 8th is International Women’s Day and the airlines around the world have marked the day with a large number of flights operated only by women.

Here are a selection of airlines and how they marked the day.

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines operated its Boeing 787 flight from Addis Ababa to Buenos Aires with an all female crew. This was extra special as the flight was the inaugural one for Ethiopian on the route.

International Women's Day - Ethiopian Airlines
Image credit: Ethiopian Airlines

Air Canada

Air Canada operated two intercontinental flights from its global Toronto hub across both the Atlantic and Pacific with all female pilots and flight attendants.

The flights were additionally supported by female ground crews providing aircraft servicing, loading, dispatch, pushback functions, customer boarding and more.

A video of these flight preparations with comments from women working in non-traditional aviation careers is here.

International Women's Day 2018 - Air Canada


Over 100 female easyJet pilots were rostered to fly out of 24 bases at the controls of around 300 flights, carrying around 45,000 passengers to hundreds of destinations.

Six all-female crews were scheduled on 16 flights.

International Women's Day - easyJet
Image credit: easyJet

Thomas Cook Airlines

Thomas Cook Airlines operated an all-female crew for a flight from Manchester to Gran Canaria.

The Captain, First Officer and seven crew were all female, as well as engineers and ground staff from Manchester Airport and NATS air traffic controllers who cleared the A321 aircraft with 212 passengers on board for take-off.

IWD 2018 - Thomas Cook Airlines
Image credit: Thomas Cook Airlines

Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines operated three all women flights. From Brussels to Berlin, Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and to Accra (Ghana).

International Women's Day - Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa Group

As well as Brussels Airlines, other members of the Lufthansa Group operated all women flights. Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings flew into Berlin  from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Vienna and Zurich with two female pilots.

International Women's Day - Lufthansa

Air India

Air India had five flights operated by women pilots, cabin crew and despatchers to and from the U.S.

The flights – Delhi to New York JFK Airport, Chicago and SFO and Mumbai to Newark  – had four pilots and 15 cabin crew on each.

In all, 20 women pilots and 75 cabin crew operated all Air India arrivals into US and a departure from SFO.

Air India Express

Air India Express operated eight international all-women crew flights.

The airline also treated all its female passengers with sweets and flowers.

Functions were organised at all its offices to show appreciation of its women work force which is about 40 per cent of its total employees.

Jet Airways

Jet Airways operated several flights with an all-women Cockpit and Cabin Crew members, along with a host of other measures, as part of its JetViva initiative.


SpiceJet operated three flights with all women cockpit and cabin crew.

Women passengers travelling alone were given priority for upgrade, check-in and for boarding.

On-board complimentary hot beverage (with complimentary cookies) were offered to all women passengers on all Boeing and Q-400 flights.

International Women's Day - SpiceJet


Vistara said it would operate select flights with all-women crew, besides priority boarding for all female passengers and celebratory sale of tickets, among others.

British Airways

BA1484 from Heathrow to Glasgow on Monday, March 5 brought together women in roles including baggage handlers, pilots and cabin crew, flight managers, loaders and push back teams, security, check in and airport teams. There were even two teenagers on work experience in the terminal, helping with the flight. Together there were 61 women who ensured the flight with 204 passengers departed on time.

IWD 2018 - British Airways
Image credit: British Airways

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating IWD with three all-female crews on flights out of Manchester, London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

N.B. Image credit: all images are credited to the particular airline

Companies in this story

Ethiopian Airlines (ET)

Air Canada (AC)

easyJet (U2)

Thomas Cook Airlines (MT)

Brussels Airlines (SN)

Air India (AI)

Air India Express (IX)

SpiceJet (SG)

Vistara (UK)

British Airways (BA)

Virgin Atlantic (VS)