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Source: Facebook

Ethiopian Airlines has made history and launched its first ever flight operated by all-women crew.

The most profitable African carrier had the flight filled with women from the pilot and cabin crew to ramp operations and flight dispatchers in the ground, the airline said in a statement. The crew will operate flights between Ethiopia and Thailand.

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Source: Ethiopian Airlines/Flight Africa

Ethiopian’s CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam:

“Above all, this is an ample opportunity to inspire young African female students to believe in their dreams and embark to fill the skill gap for Aviation professionals. Women are the continent’s greatest untapped resources, and hereby fully dedicated to ensure the increase number of women in decision making positions on top of key operational areas by consistently grooming and mentoring successor female employees for top managerial, technical and operational positions. We invite the whole world to watch our all-female operated long haul flight to and from Bangkok.”

“Women are the continent’s greatest untapped resources, ” Ethiopian Airlines’ group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said.

“It’s not the first time in Addis to have a woman pilot, a woman technician or a woman engineer. But this is a specially planned flight to show the world that the flight can be operated right from the ground, in the air and on arrival all by women.”

Gebremariam is using the opportunity to attract more women into aviation careers.

“Above all, this is an ample opportunity to inspire young African female students to believe in their dreams and embark to fill the skill gap for Aviation professionals. Women are the continent’s greatest untapped resources,” he said.

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  • Ajavee

    Way to go ladies!

  • LogicalLeopard

    “Women are the continent’s greatest untapped resources, ” Ethiopian Airlines’ group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said.
    Yeah, call me skeptical. It sounds great on the surface, but I can’t help but think that Ethiopian Airlines is trying less to empower women and more to “tap” the potential of the renowned, unique beauty of Ethiopian women. Encouraging women to obtain pilot’s licenses is a great thing, and I’m not going to hate on this because of that….but still, it sounds suspect. I hope they all are treated with dignity and respect, and this isn’t treated like Hot Babe Air.

    • Dr.Rue

      I don’t get the ” all Ethiopians are exotic/attractive” thing. Ethiopians like most other Africans don’t have one phenotype, nor are all attractive…. And the tribe that most people fetishize can be found in other countries including Kenya.

      With the way things are in Ethiopia anytime a woman usually has a job its a powerful thing. I’m sure you know Ethiopia is a poor country with traditionalist views. This is a country where gender inequalities are very high. (including female genital mutilation and child marriage). This job gives women power and a way to escape. You shouldn’t always think negative. This is groundbreaking, and progress for women in Ethiopia.

    • LogicalLeopard

      Well, technically, the “all _________s are exotic/attractive/submissive/wild/sexy/____” stereotype is garbage no matter what race, nationality, or ethnic group you insert in. However, people do appreciate some of the beautiful women in that area, I believe because of the Arab/Subsaharan African mix you get, and don’t often see.
      I agree with you. Any time you give women the ability to earn, which is power, and a way to escape gender inequality is wonderful. I just wonder if that is actually what they were trying to do. And I just hope that if anyone has an idea like, “Oh wow, I get to ride with all these beautiful women and maybe reach out and grab some” (as some uncouth people might believe they can), those such individual are quickly kicked off flights and word gets out. I hope this succeeds for the right reasons.

    • LogicalLeopard

      Upon further review, looking at the way they seem to be integrating women into all parts of the process, especially the “managerial” and “operational parts,” instead of just the visible parts (the flight crew and stewards), I think I am wrong. And this is awesome.

    • i mean

      I think you may be reading into this a little too much. I thought he was referring a woman being thoughtful and detailed oriented. Further more, I don’t the issue with Ethiopian women being known for having great beauty. My father is Ethiopian, and I love being a part of a culture that praises the beauty of their women. I don’t think that is something to run from. This is a wonderful opportunity for these women, I would hate for it to be turned into something its not.

    • LogicalLeopard

      Of course it’s a wonderful opportunity. All I was saying is that I wondered where it stemmed from – an issue of advertising or an issue of empowering women.

    • i mean

      I get where you are coming from. But I have to wonder if this was a Black American airlines where the owner said Black (American) women are a valuable asset, would you be asking this question. I have to wonder if this stems from Ethiopian women of not carrying the traditional title of a “strong” Black (American) woman. Again, I don’t want to come off as confrontational but your concern immediately turned into a conversation about how you don’t get the hype about Ethiopian women. I feel like you are using the idea of Ethiopian beauty to create concern where there is none, just to complain about it. It honestly feels in the same vain as white feminists offering “critiques” of Black female sexuality.

    • LogicalLeopard

      I get where you are coming from. But I have to wonder if this was a Black American airlines where the owner said Black (American) women are a valuable asset, would you be asking this question.

      No, I wouldn’t because the key word would be “American.” Now, granted, this is a view based on perception. I didn’t see Ethiopia as being a particularly progressive country, so the sudden progressiveness seemed like it might have ulterior motives. I could be totally wrong in that.

      I have to wonder if this stems from Ethiopian women of not carrying the traditional title of a “strong” Black (American) woman. Uh, no, not at all.

      Again, I don’t want to come off as confrontational but your concern immediately turned into a conversation about how you don’t get the hype about Ethiopian women. That’s not what I was saying at all. I certainly get the hype about Ethiopian beauty. That’s my whole point. I was wondering if this was more them using beauty as a selling point and less consideration given to empowering women. I feel like you are using the idea of Ethiopian beauty to create concern where there is none, just to complain about it. It honestly feels in the same vain as white feminists offering “critiques” of Black female sexuality..
      Nothing could be further from the truth. I have no complaints about Ethiopian beauty. It is what it is. My complaint was at someone possibly exploiting it, for foreign flyers who might think of it as some type of flying Playboy mansion.
      But you know? Honestly, I don’t know much about women’s rights in Ethiopia. The article sort of said that they were the greatest “untapped resource” which I interpreted to mean, “We just now got around to viewing them as equal.” By default, this is going to advance women in Ethiopia, because they will be trained in professional, technical jobs like piloting, and (what escaped my notice so far), “managerial, technical, and operational careers. ” That’s saying a lot. So, upon further review, yeah, I am probably overacting. Maybe this is exactly what it says it’s for. And that is a wonderful thing. For Ethiopian women and Ethiopia as a whole.

    • i mean

      Okay, I understand. And I appreciate that we can have this conversation. And remember, I’m only speaking as an American with ONE Ethiopian parent. So all I know is to have pride and defend it.

    • LogicalLeopard

      No, I understand. Yeah, I wasn’t hating on Ethiopian women by any stretch of the imagination. I was just hoping they weren’t being exploited.

  • PrimmestPlum

    Congrats ladies!

  • Congratulations to the Sisters.

  • Mary Burrell

    Gorgeous ladies