An all-female flight crew is proving the sky is the limit ahead of International Women’s Day.
The Air Canada Dreamliner 787 landed in Edmonton Thursday afternoon after departing from Toronto.
From the pilots to the flight attendants to the ground crew in both cities, everyone involved in the flight was a woman.
The flight staff was organized in celebration of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2020, observed to mark the anniversary of the world’s first female pilot licence in 1910. The week draws attention to gender imbalance in the air and space industry.
“Only five per cent of Air Canada pilots are women. That’s around 250 of us. It’s not very many, considering how many male pilots we have. But it’s growing,” said Nash.
The crew was guided into Edmonton airspace by female air traffic controllers from across the country.
“A lot of women are becoming more interested in aviation,” said Nash. “I think it’s a great message to young girls. If you stay with math, science and English anything is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do anything.”
Nash has worked with Air Canada for 23 years and has been flying for more than 30 years.
“My father used to have an airstrip on his farm. I’ve always been around airplanes. I decided one day after high school to sign up for flying lessons, but I didn’t tell my family!” she laughed. “When I told them four months later, they were supportive and very proud.”
She hopes to see more all-female crews in the future.
“It’s becoming more and more common. When I started with Air Canada, it was very unusual. If you heard two female voices in the flight deck, it was unusual.”
As passengers disembarked, a few expressed to Nash their excitement about being on an all-female flight.
“They were very proud. Lots of thumbs-up and excitement.”
As for a message to young women thinking about a career in aviation?
“Work hard. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. You will be successful. It’s a great time to be a pilot.”