Bhutan's Drukair Celebrates International Women’s Day By Operating All-Women Crew Flight

Email

It is the first time in the history of Bhutan’s aviation industry that a flight has been handled by an all-female crew.

(Source: Kuensel)

 

By Sangay Chezom BBS

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Bhutan’s national airlines, Drukair operated its first ever all-female crew flight from Paro to Bangkok via Bagdora on 8 March. The flight KB130 had 89 passengers on board.

It is the first time in the history of Bhutan’s aviation industry that a flight has been handled by an all-female crew - from the captain, first officer, engineer, cabin crew, push back team to other ground staff.

The day also marks the 108th anniversary in which Elise Raymonde Derochoe became the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s license.

Drukair had three female cockpit crew for its first female operated flight this afternoon.

More about Bhutan’s female pilots

Ugyen Dema, who became Bhutan’s first female pilot just five months ago, thinks that it is a very significant day for the airline and that there could not be a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Another highlight of the day - the flight’s all-female team, cabin crew, push back team, check-in, catering and ground staff, received an audience with His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, who congratulated them on their maiden journey.

 

8 March 2019: His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen with the all-women crew of DrukAir flight KB 130. The crew flew to Bangkok from Paro on International Women’s Day. 

Photo: Facebook/Drukair

 

“With the events today, we have made history,” says Captain Ugyen Dema.

“I feel privileged and honoured to be leading my crew. To be able to celebrate International Women’s Day in such a way is a very humbling experience. I feel lucky,” she added.

“We now have our first licensed female flight engineer, Sonam Deki who will also be flying with us today. And very soon we will be having our senior first officer - Sonam Lhamo, who will be starting her command training as well.”

“I think nothing speaks about progress more than exemplifying it,” said Captain Ugyen Dema.

As for Sr. First Officer Sonam Lhamo, it is about looking to a future that will be a gender-balanced society, by inspiring Bhutanese girls and young women.

“Empowerment is a collective responsibility and the best way to make it happen is to create the right environment and lead by doing. It is exciting. Being able to drive change is something very gratifying.”

“This flight today exemplifies the theme of this year International Women’s Day ‘balance for better’. We belong everywhere. We are part of the change and we are part of the innovation.”

 

Photo: Facebook/Drukair

The first female licensed aircraft engineer, Sonam Deki Tshering said, “globally the renowned airlines are also doing it recently. So for a company like Drukair, when we are able to produce a whole female set crew, it’s a great honour to be a part of the team.”

She shared that as a female working in the aviation industry, people do appreciate them working in a male-dominated industry.

“I have neither received any special treatment nor has there been any discrimination. We are recognised for our hard work, for our input and for our dedicated service.”

Drukair hopes to encourage more women to join the aviation industry

“Flying in the aviation industry is seen as a very high level of expertise, when women can match up to men and fly in a places like Paro, which is one of the most difficult and demanding airports in the world, we need to appreciate them,” Captain Chimi Dorji, the manager of crew training, said.

Today, Drukair employs 168 women who constitute 35.44 per cent of its total workforce. The all-female flight is milestone and a celebration in recognition of the indispensible contribution of women in the aviation industry.

Through the initiative, Drukair hopes to inspire more women to join the aviation industry.

“We have now, by doing this, managed to exemplify the true meaning of celebrating International Women’s Day."

"We have taken a long time to plan this event and here it is finally. I hope our way of inspiring the young succeeds. It should,” said Captain Ugyen Dema.

“I think Bhutanese women are very lucky. We enjoy equal rights and opportunities as our men do. That said, however, there is still a lot more we can and should do to close the gender gap."

 

This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Her Royal Highness Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck Opened Bhutan’s 14th...

The theme of this year's festival is 'Celebrating Women Artisans'.

Mar 09, 2019 17:26

Ugyen Dema - Bhutan’s Very First Female Captain For Drukair Hopes...

Donning four stripes over her shoulders, Ugyen Dema, 33 was promoted following a ‘marchang’ ceremony.

Nov 07, 2018 13:10

New DrukAir Route Linking Guwahati, Singapore And Paro Set To...

The route is expected to facilitate travel, trade and people to people exchange in Bhutan, Assam and Singapore as well...

Sep 02, 2018 15:42

Drukair’s New ATR 42-600 To Arrive By July 2019, Set To Boost...

The new ATR 42-600 will come with additional features called Sky Vision, equipped with infrared cameras that can see...

Mar 03, 2019 15:56

Drukair Launches Educational Outreach Program For Less Privileged...

This program which started in 2018, with support from the Gyalpoi Zimpon’s Office and the Royal Embassy of Bhutan in...

Jan 01, 2019 23:35

Drukair Seeks To Procure An Airbus Through The SAARC Development...

To commemorate the 34th SAARC Charter Day, the SDF team also joined government officials in Thimphu to lit 1,000 butter...

Dec 11, 2018 12:04

Latest

News

Ten Years Since The Inception Of Democracy, Bhutan Has Made Steady Progress In Human Development

The National Human Development Report highlights positive results during ten years of democracy in Bhutan.

Mar 21, 2019 15:08

Tiger Numbers Increase In Bhutan

As the world tries to double tiger number from where it was in 2010, Bhutan’s increase in tiger numbers shows that at least one country is...

Mar 19, 2019 14:18

Features

National Geographic Photo Camp Team Trained Some Bhutanese On Story-telling Through Photography

Around twenty participants were trained on story-telling through photography at a photo camp from 9-14 March.

Mar 23, 2019 16:08

Bhutan Addressed Climate Change Concerns With Foreign Delegates At The 14th Round Table Meeting

Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering said at the Round Table Meeting that climate change is real and efforts must be made to reduce its impact.

Mar 22, 2019 18:45

Sports

Bhutan To Hold First 'Sports And Culture Festival' For Runners And Cyclists

There are two tiers to the event, comprising of a full-race distance of 50km and a half-race of 25km.

Mar 06, 2019 17:14

Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Choki of Bhutan Herbal Tea

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 24, 2019 19:15

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Lhamo Of Bumthang Milk Processing Enterprise

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 18, 2019 10:19

Travel

The Magical Waters Of Gasa Tsachu – A Popular Hot Spring In Bhutan

While most people visit the hot spring in the hope that it could cure them of various ailments, it has become an annual visit for many to...

Mar 25, 2019 14:38

Tourists Visiting Bhutan Can Look Forward To Exciting Heli-Biking And Heli-Hiking Services

Heli-Biking and Heli-Hiking services are in the pipeline to attract more tourists to visit the remote parts of Bhutan.

Mar 20, 2019 20:18

Lifestyle

Food Review: Cloud9 Cafe & Bar

Cloud9 has always been known in Thimphu for dishing out handcrafted gourmet burgers.

Mar 09, 2019 09:44

Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!