Philippines wants more women to become pilots

The country’s largest flight school is turning to females to help meet a shortage of pilots in Asia as demand soars.
By: | September 18, 2019

The rise of low-cost carriers in the region has led to a shortage of pilots to fly them. In response, the Philippines’ largest flying school has appealed to more women to earn their wings.

Alpha Aviation Group’s campus in the Pampanga province, north of the capital Manila, says one in five of its 550 students each year are now women. This compares to a global average of about 3%.

Alpha holds recruitment programmes at universities and invites female pilots to give career talks to students to encourage more women to apply. The aim is to break the myth that only men can apply to flight school.

A career as a pilot in Asia is now more attractive for women, as most flights are short haul, which means less time away from home.

Aircraft maker Boeing estimates that Asia will need more than 250,000 extra pilots by 2038, as travel booms faster in this region than anywhere else.

The Philippines is well placed to meet the pilot shortage at regional low-cost carriers, given its widespread usage of English. This is now required by regulators to train their pilots.