On 8 March, on International Women’s Day, six crews from Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels consisting only of women will make their morning flights from the Lufthansa Group hubs to Berlin. The jets setting off from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels will each be flown by two female pilots.
“We specifically look out for potential female employees on our application channels and we provide an employee-friendly working environment that means that family and work can be reconciled; this allows us to attract more young women to supposedly typically male professions such as the pilot’s job”, says Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Corporate Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
The first two women began their scheduled service with Lufthansa in 1988. The year 2010 saw a world premiere in the airfreight industry: a Lufthansa Cargo aircraft took off with an all-female crew. These days, women in the cockpit are no longer an exception. Around six percent of pilots at the Lufthansa Group are female and the percentage has been continuously increasing over the past years. Around 80 percent of the cabin staff are female. Lufthansa received a blessing from the Society for the German Language for the new German word “Kapitänin” (female form of “Kapitän” = captain) specifically to refer to the growing number of female pilots.
Women play a central role not just on the plane. Be it on the apron or in the logistics centre, more and more women are opting for more technical jobs at the Lufthansa Group – such as Christina Schultheis. She has been a ground operations agent at Lufthansa since 2012, where she has been working in a 2-shift system since completing her training as an aviation service expert. She has about two hours to service a long-haul flight, which includes cleaning the cabin, refuelling, loading freight and luggage and boarding the passengers. Around one quarter of ground operation agents are women. “Here you can make a difference: It is my responsibility that every flight leaves safely, efficiently and on time”, says Schultheis. “We are the link between passengers, crew, tower, cleaning, catering and cargo – we talk to everyone. I particularly like the diversity and responsibility that comes with this job. I love doing it. I never want to leave.”
MY TRAVEL TIP FOR YOU
1. Patience Is Important
Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. Life is much too short to be angry & annoyed all the time. Did you miss your bus? No worries, there will be another one. ATMs out of money? Great! Take an unplanned road trip over to the next town and explore. Sometimes freakouts happen regardless.
Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could be worse.
2. Wake Up Early
Rise at sunrise to have the best attractions all to yourself while avoiding crowds. It’s also a magical time for photos due to soft diffused light, and usually easier to interact with locals. Sketchy areas are less dangerous in the morning too. Honest hardworking people wake up early; touts, scammers, and criminals sleep in.