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Thu 22 Aug 2019 02:18 PM

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Emirates, Aeroflot named as having biggest pilot gender gap

Emirates among airlines with lowest ratio of women aviators, a study by travel platform FromAtoB.com

Emirates, Aeroflot named as having biggest pilot gender gap

Female pilots are still a rarity at airlines including Russia’s Aeroflot and Dubai-based Emirates, even as other carriers ramp up efforts to narrow the gender gap.

The companies, along with Qatar Airways, Finnair Oyj and Jetconnect of New Zealand, have the lowest ratio of women aviators, a study by travel platform FromAtoB.com indicates.

The ranking of 45 airlines draws on data from the Air Line Pilots Association and International Society of Women Airline Pilots.

An Emirates spokesperson said: “We are proud of our pilot workforce and we recruit them on the basis of merit, expertise and experience. Even though we actively seek all suitable applicants, the proportion of male candidates for our flight deck positions is higher. We confirm we have 99 female pilots, of which 36 were recruited in the last two years."

“We have just over 30 female pilots among our about 1,000 flight deck staff, and we have been working hard to increase that share,” Finnair spokeswoman Päivyt Tallqvist said by phone. “We’ve been doing targeted recruitment and in recent rounds the proportion of women has increased.”

Aeroflot employs about 4,200 pilots, of whom 58 are women, the study says. The Russian carrier said its main unit now has 62 female aviators, among whom 48 are front-line personnel, with nine holding the rank of captain. The rest are employed in training roles.

The company said it treats male and female applicants equally, with no special measures to encourage a more equal balance.

Qatar Air declined to comment, while Jetconnect didn’t return phone calls and emails outside regular business hours.

Smaller airlines head the list, with Australia’s QantasLink top on close to 12% percent female pilots, and UK-based FlyBe Group tied for second with Luxair, the Luxembourg flag-carrier. Hawaiian Airlines is the leading US operator.

The global average for women cockpit crew is 5.2 percent, with most major players ranking around that level, according to the study.

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