Women pilots account for 11% in India against world average of 3%

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation almost 600 of the 5,050 pilots in Indian airlines are women. At 11.6% this number is way above the 3% global average estimated by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots. The rise in women pilots continues as in the last five years, of 4,267 commercial pilots licences issued, 628 or 14.7% went to women. As a result Indian carriers are employing more women pilots. Jet Airways and JetLite say 30.5% of their employees are women. At IndiGo 11% of pilots are women, and the number is growing. SpiceJet and GoAir also report that the number of women pilots is on the rise. The merged Air India-Indian Airlines has 171 women pilots and often has an all-women crew operating its non-stop flights to the US. Harpreet AD Singh, the first woman pilot to be selected by erstwhile Air India in 1988 says airlines saw a rise in women applying to fly in the mid 1980s and 2005 onwards, when private low cost airlines took off. An IndiGo official says they hope for a time when they no longer have to celebrate an all-women crew on board – it should be a common occurrence. One female pilot says the reason for this growth is the strong family support system they have in India, where women have their families to take care of the children, and that ensures they can take on long flights as well.