- Virgin Australia is celebrating International Women’s Day with a flight dispatched, operated, and handled entirely by women.
- VA313 will depart Melbourne at 8:10am and arrive at 9:20am in Brisbane (local-time).
- The initiative is a collaboration between Virgin Australia, Melbourne Airport, Brisbane Airport Corporation, and Airservices Australia.
- More than 20 women will operate and manage VA313, from take-off to touch-down.
Wednesday, 8 March 2023: Today Virgin Australia will take to the skies with VA313, a flight dispatched, operated, and managed by an all-women team in celebration of International Women’s Day.
The landmark flight is scheduled to depart Melbourne at 8:10am and arrive in Brisbane at 9:20am local time, with more than 10 different roles performed by over 20 women, demonstrating the diverse positions held by women right across Virgin Australia.
The operational flight plan will be constructed and issued by a female Flight Dispatcher and all weight and balance activities will be performed by a female Load Controller in the airline’s Integrated Operations Centre.
VA313 will also be crewed by an all-female team in the flight deck and cabin, managed by an all-female pit crew team in both ports, and supported by female airport safety officers and air traffic controllers.
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.
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,” she said.
Brisbane Airport Corporation Executive General Manager Human Resources, Jane Dionysius said she was looking forward to the day an all-women flight was no longer news.
“There isn’t a single role across aviation that women can’t do and today’s flight proves that. I look forward to a time when seeing women across aviation isn’t extraordinary, it’s the everyday,” she 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.
For more information on current opportunities with Virgin Australia, visit careers.virginaustralia.com.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
- Flight VA313, Melbourne > Brisbane
- Departing at 8:10am, arriving at 9:20am (local-time)
- Virgin Australia roles for VA313 operated by women include:
- First Officer
- Cabin Manager
- Cabin Crew
- Leading Hand
- Pushback Driver
- Guest Services
- Flight Dispatch
- Load Control
Gender diversity initiatives at Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia relaunched its diversity and inclusion program in 2022, and since then it has:
- Established a working group of 11 members focused on gender and generations.
- Become the first commercial airline sponsor for Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia.
- Committed to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) ‘25by2025’ initiative, which will see the airline aim to increase the number of women in senior positions and under-represented areas by 25%, or up to a minimum of 25% by 2025.
- Updated its parental leave policy and reviewed its rostering to ensure greater flexibility in its working arrangements.
- Launched an unconscious bias program for leaders and a review of its recruitment approach to prevent unconscious bias.