Southwest Airlines celebrates first ‘unmanned’ flight on new Boeing model
Southwest Airlines celebrated a company first on a flight from San Francisco to St. Louis on Wednesday.
The flight was the first-ever all-woman flight crew aboard the company’s new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft fleet.
The flight, which Southwest described as “unmanned,” had an all-female crew of captain, co-pilot and four flight attendants, according to CBS.
Crew members took a photo of themselves together aboard the flight. The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft flew from San Francisco to St. Louis.
A Southwest spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that all the crew members are employed by the company.
Only 6.7 percent of pilots are female, according to Women in Aviation Inc., a nonprofit group. Women also make up less than 10 percent of all airline mechanics and engineers, CBS reported.
Colleen Barrett, who was named the company’s president in 2001, was the first female president in aviation history as well.
This year at the annual Women in Aviation International Conference, the company also gave $33,500 in scholarships to five female students who sought careers in aviation.
Southwest has previously staffed an entire flight crew with women, though not on purpose and without fanfare. The company’s website said “it’s not uncommon to see an entire flight crew of women.”