An Egyptian airline has seen its first ever all-female crews take to the skies.
Egyptair has dispatched its first two flights staffed exclusively by women and said it has a total of 12 female pilots and co-pilots working on different types of aircraft.
The two flights departed for Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait from Cairo at the same time on Wednesday.
The company said the move was a celebration of International Women’s Day this month while the government announced 2017 would be the year of Egyptian women, according to the government's website.
Egypt’s minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathi said his ministry considered working women indispensable partners in every aspect of the civil aviation sectors.
Egyptair Airlines chief executive, Captain Sherif Ezzat, said: “It is time to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more Egyptian women to pursue aviation careers. Today is going to be very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the Egyptian woman.”
The airline is not the first to announce an all-female flight deck crew in a sector still largely male-dominated.
Last year, Royal Brunei Airline’s first all-female pilot crew landed in Saudi Arabia, where women can pilot a plane but are still not allowed to drive a car.
But the occurrence of two female in the flight deck is still rare.
Only one flight in about 300 to and from the UK is flown by two women, 17 have one male and one female pilot and the remaining 282 are two-men on the flight deck.
Only three per cent of pilots worldwide are female, a figure which is hardly bigger in the UK with six per cent.