India Has the Highest Ratio of Female Pilots in the World

Sep 5, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Are you a woman who wants to fly planes? You might want to consider moving to India.

India has the highest percentage of commercial female pilots in the world, according to Reuters. About 12% of the nation’s commercial pilots are women.

That ratio is double the US percentage of women pilots, who comprise roughly 6% of all commercial pilots in America according to the FAA in December 2017. And less than 5% of pilots worldwide are women, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.

Women pilots in India have benefits that aren’t guaranteed for female workers in other sectors of the country like equal pay (mandated by unions) and day care services, Reuters reports. There are also additional precautions to guarantee women pilots a safe workplace in India. The airlines offer their women employees a car service and an armed guard to escort them between 6:00pm and 6:00am.

“It is the safest job,” Indian pilot Shweta Singh, who was among the first female pilots in the nation 20 years ago, told Reuters. “Women are more protected here than in any other place.”

About 13% of pilots for India’s Indigo Airline are women, and 12% of pilots at SpiceJet are women. The highest percentage of women pilots at an airline based in a Western country is United with 7.4% of pilots being female, according to Statista.

Graphic by Statista.
Graphic by Statista.

Women in aviation around the globe have struggled with securing equal pay and other issues like sexual harassment. Ryanair, for instance, was exposed in April as the airline with the most discrepancy in its pay between men and women, with the average male employee averaging a whopping 72% per hour more than their female counterparts.  And easyJet’s new CEO, Johan Lundgren, took a 5% pay cut in January 2018 in order to match the salary of his female predecessor, Carolyn McCall.

With a looming pilot shortage bearing down on the aviation sector worldwide, airlines are looking to increase the amount of women in the cockpit. But some airlines have a long way to go in changing their mentalities toward women pilots. Just last month, for instance, UK airline TUI was handing out stickers to children passengers. The crew handed out “Future TUI Captain” stickers to boys and “Future TUI Cabin Crew” to girls.

Featured image by Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.