ET Flight 500 touched down Sunday at Washington’s Dulles International Airport shortly after 9am. The journey to mark International Women’s Day began over 17 hours earlier in Addis Ababa. Much applause greeted Captain Amsale Gualu and her crew on arrival with a colorful and lively celebration at IAD to honor the occasion.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser was represented by Sybongile Cook, D.C.’s Interim Director of Business Development & Strategy. Ms. Cook addressed attendees including dignitaries (including the Honorable Mr. Fitsum Arega, Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S.), local media and the general public.

The Ethiopian all-women flight crew flew the Boeing 777 to the U.S. capital while other female professionals handled all the ground operations including flight dispatch, load control, ramp operation, on-board logistics, safety and security, catering as well as air traffic control.

As an equal opportunity employer, Ethiopian creates an enabling environment for women to become the next generation aviation experts.  Ethiopian Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked, “Ethiopian firmly believes that such remarkable flights inspire African women and young girls to dream big and realize their dreams not only in aviation, but also in science, technology, engineering, art and other fields. While we celebrate the economic, social and political achievements of women in Africa, we take a bold move towards further championing gender equality in Ethiopia and Africa at large.”

The airline has seen a remarkable rise in the number of women in different leadership positions. Ethiopian has been operating all-female flights since 2015. The airline has so far flown to Bangkok, Kigali, Lagos, Buenos Aires and Oslo with all women-operated crews.