Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

The Indian aviation industry is abuzz with the launch of Akasa Air and also the second innings of Jet Airways. Not only this, with opening of international borders post coronavirus, the number of flights, both domestic and international has reached pre-pandemic levels. With all this happening, the demand for pilots has soared an all time high in India. Interestingly, India has the highest number of women airline pilots as compared any part of the world. Back in February 2022, speaking in the Lok Sabha, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that 15 per cent of total pilot strength in the country are women.

Scindia said, “In all other countries in the world, only 5 per cent of the pilots is female. In India, over 15 percent of pilots are female. This is another example of women empowerment. There has been a lot of changes in the aviation industry in the last 20-25 years.”

This means, India has the highest ratio of female commercial and air force pilots as compared to any other country in the world, including the most progessive aviation markets including the United States and Europe. As per the data compiled by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots 2020, India has the highest ratio of female pilots in the world leading the list with 12.4 percent female commercial pilots as opposed to other nations.

Next in line is Ireland with distant 9.9 percent female pilots. The data was compiled more than an year ago and since then, the number has further increased. The survey further revealed that smaller regional airlines are the biggest employer of female pilots with 13.9 percent gender ratio, while cargo airlines have the least ratio at 8.5 percent in India.

Indian female pilots like Capt Zoya Aggarwal who piloted the world’s longest San Francisco to Bengaluru direct flight on Air India have been the talk of the town lately. Globally, Ireland is second, closely followed by South Africa at third with 9.8 percent female pilots, while Canada is at fourth with distant 6.9 percent ratio. The fifth one is Germany with 6.9 percent as well. On the other side, countries like the US and the UK have only 5.4 and 4.7 percent female flight officers respectively.

Highlighting that the Civil Aviation industry has become a key element of India’s economy, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the simplification of pilot licence will be done in the coming days with the latest technology. He said that the Government plans to create 33 new domestic cargo terminals, set up 15 new flight training schools for pilots, create more jobs, and increase focus on the drone sector.

He also said that the Government has set a target of creating 220 new airports by 2025. Replying to the demands for grants of the Civil Aviation ministry for 2022-23, Scindia said that India had moved forward in domestic and international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With inputs from ANI

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