showed true ‘girl power’ this International Women’s Day, with a flagship flight operated entirely by women.

The 16:30 Amsterdam flight from Leeds Bradford Airport was checked-in, loaded, boarded, pushed back and crewed by 12 friendly females, making history! 

From the captain, first officer and duty manager to cabin crew, ramp team, dispatcher and passenger service agents – everything that goes into getting an aircraft off the ground safely and on time was ‘manned’ by the leading leisure airline’s ladies. 

Louise Iveson, a First Officer on today’s flight, said:  “We’re all thrilled to have been part of this unique flight.  It’s fantastic that has helped us mark International Women’s Day and celebrate the great work we women do in powering flights and providing a great experience for our customers.

“I hope today has shown other women wanting to join the industry that there is nothing stopping them from achieving their ambitions.  Here come the girls!”

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To mark International Women's Day, Travel Bulletin grabbed a quick interview with First Officer, Louise Iveson...

Q: What is your job role & what does that entail?
A: I am a First Officer with, based at Leeds Bradford Airport, flying to more than 40 destinations across Europe. Working closely with the pilot, I am responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of the aircraft, from pre-flight checks right through to the point our passengers disembark at their destination.
Q: What inspired you to become a pilot?
A: I had always been fascinated by flying, even as a very young girl. It’s definitely the sort of job that gives the wow factor and constantly challenges you, something I thrive on. The best thing about being a pilot is that not only do you get extensive training for the role, but you’re updated and reviewed every six months, meaning you’re always improving on yourself.
Q: How long have you been in the job and with
A: I’ve been with for three years now; one year as a pilot apprentice and two years as a First Officer. It’s a fantastic role offering so much variety, from the monitoring of technical equipment mid-flight to physically flying the plane, it gives me all of the necessary theoretical and practical skills that will one day mean that I can be in charge of operating my very own aircraft.

Q: What is your favourite thing about the job?
My all-time favourite thing about the job is the view! Seeing the world from 30,000 feet is such a special experience and I’ve been lucky enough to see so many stunning places with the best seat in the house. It’s also really satisfying being such a big part of our passengers’ journey, taking them to a destination where they’ll get to experience so much. When we get the chance to see the passengers off the plane, it’s so lovely to wish them a wonderful holiday and be thanked by them for a job well done – something that really does make the day so much sweeter.
Q: Are there any challenges that women face within the industry?
A: The main challenge is the limited visibility of women in these roles. I don’t think that teenage girls who are considering career options ever think of a job such as a pilot, as there are few role models for them to look up to and think “I want to fly a plane and if she can do, well I certainly can”. The funny thing is that I haven’t had anything but positive feedback as a female in what some people may still think of as a traditionally male role. Times have certainly changed from the days of all female cabin crew and all males in the cockpit, and I’d hope that even more women in the future will ignore outdated career stereotypes and opt for jobs that make them happy and fulfilled – as mine does with”



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