Earlier this month, Egyptian pilot, Nevine Darwish, made history when she became the first Arab and Egyptian woman to fly Airbus 380 – the world’s biggest commercial aircraft. That’s a big deal, by the way.
But Egypt has more to celebrate this week, with the announcement that EgyptAir launched two flights that were piloted exclusively by female crew members. Another very, very big deal.
The first of the two flights, which took off on Wednesday, headed over to Abu Dhabi under Captain Hasnaa Taymour and First Officer Sarah Abdel-Fattah, with 10 female flight attendants and two female security members.
Captain Heba Darwish and First Officer Sarah Roshdy, meanwhile, led the second flight to Kuwait along with five female attendants and two female security members.
While there’s been a lot of hot air around the announcement – the government has tried to piggyback on the achievement in announcing that 2017 is the Year of Women because it believes in “women’s contributions to society” – the two flights mark a historic moment for all involved and has been (tentatively) seen as a big step fort the country’s systematically disenfranchised female population.
This is, of course, not the first time we’ve seen Egyptian women step into (and succeed) in fields traditionally dominated by men; but with EgyptAir being one of the companies most synonymous with the country, it could signal tides of change.
By Kalam El Qahaira