American Airlines marks International Women’s Day with all‑female crew

As part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, today we recognize International Women’s Day, which celebrates the contributions and achievements of women around the world. To mark the day, a talented team of women operated and supported Flight AA2808, a Boeing 787, which flew from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) today.

Every aspect of the operation and service for today’s flight was delivered by women – from check-in to cargo loading to the air traffic controller responsible for providing the flight’s clearance for departure. In addition, all team members supporting the flight from the airline’s Integrated Control Center in Fort Worth, Texas, were women.

Capt. Linda Pauwels led today’s flight crew. Linda has been instrumental in paving the way for women in the historically male-dominated profession of piloting commercial aircraft. She wants young women to know the sky is literally the limit for women in any industry.

“So many talented women have broken barriers in aviation, from Beverley Bass to Willa Brown and Bonnie Tiburzi, forging a path for me and my colleagues at American. We want young women and girls who aspire to become aviators or work in the airline industry to know their dream is within reach, and that gender, race and ethnicity isn’t a barrier.”

“The diversity of our team gives us the strength and expertise to deliver the utmost care to our customers who fly with us from every corner of the world,” said Linda.

In 1988, Linda became the youngest female jet cargo airline captain in the world, on a Boeing 707. In 2000, she became American’s first female Hispanic captain, on the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, and, in 2015, the airline’s first female Hispanic Check Airman. Linda is now responsible for training pilots on the Boeing 787.

Aside from her day job of flying and training American’s pilots to the very highest standards, Linda is authoring a book series called Beyond Haiku: Pilots Write Poetry. She is currently working on her latest book which includes haikus and poems written by women pilots. The proceeds fund scholarships aimed at helping young women who dream of aviation careers but may have financial hardships.

In 1986, a team of American Airlines pilots and flight attendants made history by operating the first U.S. flight to be crewed by an all-female team, which was commemorated today prior to the departure in Miami.

The first all-female crew ever to staff an American Airlines flight pose beside their Boeing 727 aircraft after arrival at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in December 1986. Standing, left to right: First Officer Tracy Prior, Capt. Beverley Bass and First Officer Terry Clairidge. Kneeling are Flight Attendants Sally Houston, Beverly Donawa, Nancy Hayth and Alice Chedister.

Left to right: Purser Jena Hopkins; Flight Attendants Daphne Yanez, Jacy Harris, Viola Bronson and Sandra Manzari; First Officer Christine van den Brink; Capt. Linda Pauwels; Flight Attendants Stephanie Price, Sylvia Hayward and Sonia Adams.

American is proud to celebrate the contributions women make to our company and our communities by sharing the vital work they do to make us the world’s greatest airline.

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