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ADDIS ABABA—Ethiopian Airlines is dispatching its first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. The flight was scheduled to depart for Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday night. The airline says it wants to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more African girls to pursue aviation careers.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said attracting more women to aviation jobs is one of the reasons for hosting the female flight, together with empowering women.

“It’s going to be very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the African woman. Because, as you know, here in the continent of Africa, we are lagging behind in women empowerment. So this is going to inspire all the school girls in Africa that they have a very bright future in the 21st century,” Gebremariam said.

The flight is being handled by women in every aspect – from planning, to aircraft maintenance, and from the pilots to air traffic controllers. Even upon arrival in Bangkok, all customs and immigration officers will be female.

Ethiopian Airlines says about one third of its employees are women. But the number is smaller when it comes to positions such as pilots and technicians.

This week the first all-female flight crew from Ethiopia took to the skies, making history and inspiring girls to pursue aviation careers. From planning, to aircraft maintenance, and from the pilots to air traffic controllers, the women were in charge.

“This is going to inspire all the school girls in Africa that they have a very bright future in the 21st century,” said Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.

Read more via Voice of America - VOA: http://bit.ly/1QQatJe

The Junkers Ju 252 was a cargo aircraft that made its first flight in late October 1941. The aircraft was planned as a replacement for the Junkers Ju 52/3m in commercial airline service, but only a small number were built as cargo aircraft for the Luftwaffe