An Egyptian airline has watched its first ever all-female crew flight take off.
The first two Egyptair flights staffed purely by women have taken to the skies, with a total of 12 female pilots and co-pilots working on different types of aircraft.
The two flights, bound for Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, left at the same time from the airport in Cairo on Wednesday.
Per the Independent UK, the company made the move in celebration of International Women’s Day recently, as the government announced 2017 would be “the year of Egyptian women”, according to its website.
“Women are the main nerve in the process of economic development that is taking place in Egypt now,” it read.
Per the Independent, Egypt’s minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathi said his ministry considered working women invaluable members of the civil aviation sectors.
Meanwhile, Egyptair Airlines chief executive, Captain Sherif Ezzat, said, “It is time to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more Egyptian women to pursue aviation careers. Today is going to be very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the Egyptian woman.”
The airline follows in the footsteps of other airlines pushing an all-female crew in a sector still predominantly occupied by men.
Last year, Royal Brunei Airline’s first all-female pilot crew landed in Saudi Arabia, where women can pilot a plane but are still not allowed to drive a car.
But overall, this trend is relatively uncommon.
Per the Independent, just one flight in 300 or so flying in and out of the UK is piloted by women, while 17 of these planes have one male and one female pilot and the remaining 282 are two-men on the flight deck.
Worldwide, just three per cent of pilots are female.