United Airlines Makes Statement with All-Female Boeing 737 Delivery
United Airlines' recent delivery of a Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft to Chicago O'Hare International Airport served more than one purpose.
According to Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Business Journal, last week's flight from Seattle to Chicago signalled the first time the airline has executed an aircraft delivery while calling on an all-female cockpit crew. Captain Kim Noakes and first officer Jan Lumbrazo piloted the flight, which also featured an all-female flight attendant crew and only female passengers, all of which work for the airline in various roles.
The flight, which landed at a remote location at the airport, also marked the one-year anniversary of United's internal organization uIMPACT, which was developed to promote and empower female employees of the airline.
Here's a look at the delivery courtesy of manufacturer Boeing on Twitter:
When asked about the current atmosphere for female pilots, 15-year veteran Lumbrazo told KPLU.org that "it hasn't changed too much," calling it "a little bit of a sad story."
For perspective, women make up fewer than seven percent of all U.S. commerical airplane pilots.
"I think that we're trying to get more women involved in aviation," added Lumbrazo. "I think it's a process where we need to start at a younger age, not necessarily wait till high school or college, that we need to start in grade school and tell them that it is a viable career option and that they can do it."
A spokesperson for the airline noted that the all-female flight crew doesn't foreshadow a coming change in how it assigns cockpit crews.
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