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Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar’s all-female flights

Three airlines will host flights crewed entirely by women. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
Three airlines will host flights crewed entirely by women. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar

Three of the nation’s biggest airlines will run flights led entirely by women in celebration of their contribution to the aviation industry.

Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar will all host select flights staffed entirely by female crew to mark International Women’s Day on Friday.

Australia’s first major airline female pilot Deborah Lawrie AM will fly a special Virgin Australia flight dispatched, operated and managed by an all-female team.

Travellers on-board flight VA313 to Brisbane, which departed Melbourne airport at 8.10am, are experiencing a flight staffed entirely by women.

The 30-strong-crew, which includes pilots, cabin crew, ground crew, baggage handlers, air traffic controllers, pushback driver and refueller, are all women.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NCA NewsWire Photos - 08 MARCH, 2024: Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin are marking International Women’s Day 2024 by planning, dispatching and operating flights with all-female teams. Picture: NCA NewsWire handout
Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin are marking International Women’s Day 2024 by operating flights with all-female teams. Picture: NCA NewsWire handout

When the flight lands in Brisbane at 9.30am (local time), the flight crew will attend a networking event where they will share advice with 50 female aviation students.

Ms Lawrie paved the way for women to enter the piloting profession after she won a landmark High Court discrimination case in 1979.

She will be joined by training captain Paley Williams, who has trained countless pilots on Boeing 737 aircraft in her 21 years with the airline.

Qantas and Jetstar will operate three domestic flights with all-female teams, including the pilots, cabin crew, engineers, airport ground team, dispatch co-ordinator and operations centre staff.

Australia’s first major airline female pilot Deborah Lawrie AM will fly a special Virgin Australia flight dispatched, operated and managed by an all-female team. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
Australia’s first major airline female pilot Deborah Lawrie AM will fly a special Virgin Australia flight dispatched, operated and managed by an all-female team. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar

Qantas flight QF401 Sydney to Melbourne departed at 6am and Jetstar’s return flight JQ402 from Sydney to the Gold Coast took off at 7.10am.

Globally, women make up just 4 per cent of pilots and 3 per cent of engineers. At the Qantas group, the gap is marginally smaller, with women making up 7 per cent of pilots and 4 per cent of engineers.