EasyJet is launching an initiative to recruit 1,000 pilots over the next five years, with a focus on attracting more women.
The airline, which has forecast a strong summer of bookings as the UK emerges from the Covid crisis, is looking to tackle a gender imbalance in the industry.
The pilot training program is being relaunched with a new advertising campaign for the first time since the pandemic began.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “We are delighted to reopen our pilot training program for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic and we will be recruiting over 1,000 new pilots over the coming years.
“EasyJet has long advocated greater diversity in the cockpit and this series of ads aims to highlight the extraordinary breadth of our pilots’ skills and show that pilots can be found in all walks of life in order to attract more diverse candidates.
“We remain focused on challenging career gender stereotypes after doubling the number of female pilots who fly with us in recent years.
“We also recognize that while we have made progress, we still have work to do. Increasing diversity in all its forms in the cockpit is a long-term focus for easyJet.”
Captain Iris de Kan, a mother of two, who can be seen in one of the ads with her five-year-old daughter Kiki, said: “It’s important that girls have visible role models so we can fight against professional stereotypes and show everyone that they have the motivation has and passion can turn their skills into airline pilots.
“I love the responsibility and challenge that comes with my job – but it’s not as challenging as juggling the demands of a five-year-old and a tiny baby at home.”
According to easyJet, only about 6% of pilots worldwide are women.
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