Manchester, UK, Thursday 8 March 2018 – Thomas Cook Airlines has operated an all-female crew on International Women’s Day 2018 and today launches its first scholarship for future female pilots.
The Captain, First Officer and seven crew for the flight from Manchester to Gran Canaria at 08:40 this morning 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 customers on board for take-off.
Thomas Cook Airlines has also announced today that it is partnering with FTEJerez to attract more women to piloting. The scholarship will be co-sponsored by Thomas Cook and FTEJerez and is in of Elise Raymonde de Laroche, a French pilot and the first woman ever to receive a pilot's licence, 108 years ago on this day, 8 March, 1910.
Paul Hutchings, UK Managing Director and Group Airline Director of Operations at Thomas Cook Airlines says, “With International Women’s Day today and Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, there was no better time to fly an all-female crew and highlight that our industry is for men and women. We want to raise awareness of the many opportunities to build a career and encourage more women into the aviation industry at all levels.”
“We’ve had a positive working relationship with FTEJerez over a number of years. Our scholarship ensures that Thomas Cook Airlines supports and raises awareness among womenwho may never have considered becoming a pilot, to train and begin what is a very rewarding career path.”
Today’s flight was captained by Jane Paros, who has been flying since 1990 and is also a training captain for Thomas Cook Airlines, with First Officer Berglind Rafnsdóttir-Teasdale. First Officer Victoria McCarthy also joined the flight on Thursday to talk to customers on board. The crew comprised Victoria Starkey, Faye Emanuel, Lindsay Dixon, Stephanie Ashall, Susanne Johnston, Victoria Britland and Kelly Adrio.
First Officer Berglind Rafnsdóttir-Teasdale is also a member of the pilot recruiting team at Thomas Cook Airlines and conducts both pilot interviews and simulator training. “I think historically, people have seen pilots as being men. We need more women to challenge norms and keep our industry moving forward,” she said. “It’s not just pilots but engineers and other roles in the industry too. We need to go to schools, talk to girls and young women about the options available to them and show the many career opportunities in aviation and aerospace.”
FTEJerez CEO, Oscar Sordo said, “We share Thomas Cook Airlines’ goal of attracting more female pilots to the profession and are ed to part-sponsor the scholarship for female pilots.”
The Thomas Cook Mentored Cadet Pilot Training Programme will open for applications on 16th March 2018. Further details can be found on the FTEJerez website www.ftejerez.com.