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 honour 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, March 8th, 1910.
The scholarship is open for female applicants to be trained at FTEJerez as part of the Thomas Cook Airlines Mentored Cadet Pilot Training Programme.
Female pilots entering this programme will be eligible to apply for the €30,000 scholarship which will be offset against their training costs at FTEJerez.
The scholarship will run every year for the next five years.
Paul Hutchings, UK managing director at Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “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 women who 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.
The Thomas Cook Mentored Cadet Pilot Training Programme will open for applications on March 16th.
Further details can be found on the FTEJerez website.
Take a look at a series of images from the take-off here.