New research reveals massive shortage of female pilots

New research into the number of female pilots currently employed in the airline industry has revealed just how male-dominated the industry is.

Travel platform fromAtoB worked with the Air Line Pilots Association and the International Society of Women Airline Pilots to look at how many female pilots were currently flying with Australian, European, American and Canadian airlines.

Flybe, Luxair, Qantas and Hawaiian were top of the table with the highest proportion of female pilots.

New research reveals massive shortage of female pilots

The airlines with the fewest females in the cockpit were Aeroflot and Emirates.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing says airlines will need to find nearly 800,000 pilots within 20 years to keep up with the massive growth in the aviation industry. Asia will need 260,000 of those and 320,000 cabin crew need to be found in the Asia-Pacific region alone.

The survey covered dozens of airlines worldwide.

Below is the data on the percentages of female pilots from airlines Kiwis are likely to be familiar with. 

  • QantasLink (Australia Regional) 11.6 percent
  • Hawaiian Air 9.6 percent
  • Air France 8.0 percent
  • United Airlines 7.5 percent
  • Air Canada 6.5 percent
  • Lufthansa 6.0 percent
  • Qantas Airways 5.6 percent
  • Jetstar Airways Group 5.4 percent
  • EasyJet 5.0 percent
  • American Airlines 4.9 percent
  • Delta Air Lines 4.8 percent
  • Air New Zealand 4.7 percent
  • Virgin Australia group 3.8 percent
  • Qatar 2.4 percent
  • Emirates 2.3 percent
  • Jet Connect (New Zealand) 2.3 percent
  • Aeroflot 1.4 percent

The global average of female pilots working for all airlines sits at just 5.2 percent.

Despite the continuing growth of the aviation industry, the number of women entering the profession remains low. 

In Australia, 11.6 percent of pilots working for Qantas' regional operator QantasLink are female. At Air New Zealand the figure is 4.7 percent.

Despite being low, some of these figures are much higher than the global average - in fact almost double it in some cases.

Russian airline Aeroflot employs 4200 pilots, but just 58 are women - 1.4 percent.

Middle Eastern airline Emirates was slightly higher with 2.3 percent of its pilots being female.

Last year Virgin Australia committed to a 50 -50 gender target within its pilot cadet programme, and so far the number of women involved in the programme has risen a massive 200 percent.