- Women and children first for one day of the year on British and European flights out of Ireland
- Offer does not apply to trans-Atlantic flights
- Aer Lingus has twice as many female pilots as average
- 48pc of Aer Lingus employees are female
- First airline in Europe to employ woman pilot
- Female staff will soon be wearing trousers as skirt rule lifted
Aer Lingus is celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 by offering Priority Boarding to female guests departing on British and European flights from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Belfast.
One hundred and 20 flights will let female guests along with any junior travel companions board ahead of men in what the airline says is a gesture “recognising the achievements of women and promoting greater gender equality”.
The announcement comes as Aer Lingus confirmed that female cabin crew will no longer be required to wear make-up or skirts as part of new uniform rules. It will introduce new uniforms later this year which will include trouser options for female staff.
Women now make up 48pc of all employees at Aer Lingus and 33pc of all leadership roles.
Aer Lingus was the first airline in Europe to employ a female pilot, Gráinne Cronin from Ennis in 1978, (pictured with her family) and currently employs twice as many female pilots as the international airline industry average.
Last year Aer Lingus launched its Future Pilot Programme and the Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Apprentice Scheme, both seeking to attract more female talent.
Events to mark International Women’s Day at Aer Lingus during the week included a talk by motivational speaker and former RAF pilot, Mandy Hickson.
Rachel Izzard, Chief Financial Officer at Aer Lingus, said: “As a company, Aer Lingus is committed to attracting a wide breath of talent. This International Women’s Day we celebrate our diverse female talent and our female guests. We’re proud of the Aer Lingus Women’s Network called LIFT (Let’s Inspire Female Talent), which has been an important catalyst to recognise, enable and support the career progression of women in Aer Lingus over the last number of years, with a number of initiatives and mentoring programmes.”