Nearly a third of the recent graduates from the Icelandic Flight Academy, or 16 out of 55 students, were women, RÚV reports. There has never been a higher proportion of women to graduate from the academy’s commercial aviation program.
This is the second year in a row that the number of women aviation graduates has topped previous totals. Last year, the Keilir Aviation Academy (which recently bought the Icelandic Flight Academy) reported that women made up roughly a fifth of their commercial aviation students, i.e. 37 women enrolled in fall 2018. The academy chalked this development up to young women increasingly pursuing careers that have traditionally been reserved for men.
“The lack of women pilots in commercial aviation makes it so that young women think there’s something that will keep them from [following this career path]. I want to change that,” remarked Telma Rút Frímannsdóttir, who graduated from Keilir a couple years ago. “I’m proud to be a commercial pilot and I want to encourage young women to become commercial pilots as well.”
As of 2018, only about 5% of commercial pilots worldwide were women. The percentage at the same time was somewhat higher in Iceland. Of the 807 pilots and captains working for airlines in Iceland last year, 57 (about 7%) were women.