Flying school campaign for easyJet aims to quadruple number of female pilot hires

Low-cost airline easyJet has pledged to increase its number of female trainee pilots from five to 20 per cent by 2020.

Currently, just five per cent of easyJet's pilots are female
Currently, just five per cent of easyJet's pilots are female

The firm's director of communications Paul Moore highlighted the scheme during a wide-ranging interview with PRWeek UK last month that focused on the airline's in-house content and comms team.

Moore said easyJet's target to quadruple the number of women hired as cadets into its training programme would be achieved via its Amy Johnson Flying Initiative - an aviation project named after the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia.

Moore said: "We have a three-part documentary featuring the initiative airing on ITV, and we have done a tonne of PR to promote it. The Government thinks it's great, and it's creating good brand enhancement... and it works really well on social."

The series - easyJet: Inside the Cockpit - airs on ITV1 at 9pm this evening (14 August).

The documentary, which is designed to shine a light on what it takes to become a commercial pilot, follows a handful of budding pilots as they master take-off and landing, solo flights, and their first passenger flight.

Negative press follows CEO departure

Despite launching a number of admirable initiatives in recent weeks, including a "flying library" with PR agency Taylor Herring, the airline has also faced a slew of negative press.

According to an article that appeared in The Guardian in July, the airline was forced to open an investigation after an unaccompanied child was removed from an overbooked flight from London Gatwick "and left alone at the departure gate". 

A spokeswoman apologised for the incident, saying: "easyJet is sorry that Casper Read’s flight from London Gatwick to Toulouse was overbooked. We are investigating why he was able to board the aircraft as he should have been informed at the gate."

Shares in the carrier also fell six per cent on 20 July despite the airline reporting expected full-year profits of between £380m and £420m this year. Last year easyJet recorded profits of £495m. 

Both stories followed the announcement that outgonig easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall had been named as the new chief executive of ITV. 

McCall's replacement is expected to be announed in the autumn, the spokeswoman told PRWeek. 


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