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33-Year-Old Jetstar Pilot Becomes Vietnam's Youngest Female Captain

Globally, women only account for 5.44% of commercial airline pilots, according to Gender Gap Grader based on datasets from Airmen Database.

According to Dan Tri, Vietnamese pilot Le Thi Bich Hong was just promoted to captain for the low-cost airline Jetstar on August 1 after she finished 4,000 hours of safe flying over the course of her career, a requirement for the captain position. Hong had been holding the co-pilot position for four years before being promoted.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, the country's youngest female pilot is 29-year-old Nguyen Kim Chau while Hong is the youngest female pilot-in-command at 33 years old.

Hong, however, didn't start out as a student in aviation. More than ten years ago, she was majoring in French Literature at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities. After graduation, Hong continued her studies by pursuing a Master's degree in International Relations in Australia. After she got her postgraduate degree, Hong came back to Vietnam. 

After working for some time in Vietnam, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of being a pilot by joining Jetstar's pilot training program. The program was part of the airline's localized human resources scheme. She was later selected to be one of the pilots to go to New Zealand for training and flew her very first flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi in December 2013.

Jetstar Pacific currently has 41 Vietnamese pilots working alongside their foreign counterparts.

[Photo via Dan Tri]

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