UK press write that the male-dominated aviation industry needs to attract more women into the workforce to avoid the “impending crisis” of not having enough pilots, a senior executive has warned.
Angela Gittens, director-general of the Airports Council International, said that if demand for flights continued to rise rapidly, men alone could not provide sufficient pilots.
According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, only 6.7 per cent of pilots are female. “The fact is that if you ignore half of the world’s population, we’ll never get there,” said Ms Gittens.
Aerospace manufacturer Airbus has projected that the industry will need 530,000 new pilots in the next 20 years, as well as 550,000 new technicians. Ms Gittens was speaking ahead of the first Global Aviation Gender Summit, opening in Cape Town, South Africa, today. She said: “Aviation in general has a difficult enough time luring the best and brightest over to our industry. It’s not a track that girls and young women are particularly aware of. We need to reverse that.”
Law would boost female pilots,says easyJet chief
The chief executive of easyJet has suggested legislation might be needed to increase the number of female pilots from its current low level.
Speaking at the Aviation Festival in London, Johan Lundgren said targets could be useful, but “sometimes that is a slower process than some of the more aggressive methods like legislation”.
According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, only 6.7 per cent of pilots are female. easyJet has set a target to have women as 20 per cent of new entrant pilots by 2020.
Currently only six per cent of its pilots are women. It also has a gender pay gap of 46 per cent, since most of its highest-paid employees are pilots, who are largely men.
At the same conference, Robin Hayes, chief executive of US low-cost airline JetBlue, said encouraging women into the industry was both right and financially necessary: “In the US we’re going to face a shortage of maintenance technicians in the next 10 years . . . Securing the supply of pilots and maintenance technicians is extremely important otherwise it becomes a constraint for airlines to grow.”