In what’s believed to be a first in Australian aviation history, a commercial flight will be fully managed, crewed and handled end-to-end by all women to celebrate International Women’s Day.
As part of the joint initiative, which involves Melbourne Airport, Virgin Australia, Airservices Australia and Brisbane Airport, all key touchpoints and tasks related to flight VA313 from Melbourne to Brisbane will be undertaken by women.
Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer Lorie Argus said she hoped the flight would inspire more women to work in aviation.
“As the first female CEO at Melbourne Airport, I’m determined to highlight that women can forge meaningful and rewarding careers in aviation.
“There are plenty of diverse and exciting career opportunities spanning airports, airlines and air traffic control, from engineering, maintenance and safety positions, pilots, and cabin crew to corporate and commercial roles.
“I’ve personally spent more than 30 years in air travel, it’s such a multifaceted industry and as aviation returns to full strength, I really hope today’s flight encourages more women to consider working in the sector.”
Virgin Australia Chief People Officer, Lisa Burquest said the initiative highlighted how far aviation has come in terms of gender diversity and showcased the opportunities available to women interested in pursuing a career in the industry.
“This flight is a celebration of all the incredible women who continue to pave a path for future generations to pursue a career in this exciting and dynamic industry and I am thrilled to see it come to life in collaboration with our partners,” she said.
“Behind every aircraft in the sky, there is a highly-skilled team working together to ensure passengers get to their destinations safely, and for this flight, every one of these roles is carried out by women.
“It’s an exciting time to join Virgin Australia as we ramp up our operations and continue to look for people from all walks of life who are seriously passionate about what they do, to join our fun and inclusive team,” Ms Burquest said.
Airservices Australia Chief Executive Officer Jason Harfield said the organisation is proudly supporting VA313 to shine a light on the power of what women can achieve across aviation – and all industries.
“From our air traffic management services through to our Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service or engineering or information technology roles, there are a myriad of exciting, dynamic and flexible career opportunities for women at Airservices,” Mr Harfield said.
“Key to this is a culture where all our people feel included and can bring their whole selves to work, every day, without exception.
“We continue to foster diversity and inclusion and inspiring more young girls and women to enter the pipeline, who can play a lead role in helping us to provide safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible services to the aviation industry and community.”
Melbourne Airport is also supporting Juno – an organisation that assists women and non-binary persons facing homelessness in the city’s northern metropolitan area. The airport is working with its retailers to donate gifts such as face masks, hand cream and craft activities supporting this year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme of embracing equity.