Aer Lingus' First Female Pilot retired after 33 years of service

Friday 11, June 2010


Aer Lingus' First Female Pilot retired after 33 years of service


Captain Grainne Cronin has left Aer Lingus after 33 years of loyal service. Grainne's career commenced in 1977 when she became the first female pilot at Aer Lingus. Her first flight was in January 1978, piloting a Boeing 737 aircraft.


Of the experience, Grainne says: "It wasn't easy, I have to say, entering such a male-dominated arena but Aer Lingus were very forward thinking for the time, they were the second airline in Europe, after SAS, to introduce female pilots. British Airways did not hire any female pilots for at least a further seven or eight years. In 1978 and 1979, two more female pilots joined and we flew the flag for the female race for the next 10 years."


Flying clearly runs in this family, as Grainne is the daughter of retired Aer Lingus Captain Felim Cronin, and her sister, Caroline, is also a commercial pilot. Grainne's two daughters, Alana and Louisa Johnston, both hold private pilot's licences, and Louisa has recently completed her training as a commercial pilot. "My husband is also a pilot, so ours was quite a chaotic household juggling long-haul flying schedules with the school run!"


Despite the chaos of balancing her flying career with family life, Grainne excelled at Aer Lingus and went on to become a Captain operating the Shorts 360 aircraft. In 1988, having successfully received her command, Grainne appeared on RTE's The Late Late Show.


On 2nd August 1988, the first all-female Aer Lingus crew operated a flight from Dublin to Shannon with Grainne in command and First Officer Elaine Egan on board the airline's landmark flight.


Captain Davina Pratt, Aer Lingus Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations said: "We wish to thank Grainne for her loyal service to Aer Lingus and her dedication over the past 33 years. As the first female pilot for Aer Lingus, Grainne paved the way for many other women who went on to pursue careers as pilots."



Bookmark and Share


^ back to top


Find the best deals available today

The grey menu on the right is your best friend. Always check before you travel.

Plan your trips with the help of great resources

More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.


Clean, green and very pristine

Top 10 most environmentally pure countries

With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.



Top 15 most spectacular hotel rooftop views

The hotel price comparison site has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.

Latest offers, discounts and more...

Accor “3=2 offer”
Why not extend your stay? 3 nights for the price of 2.
Columbus Direct travel insurance
Quality cover at low prices to customers all around the world.
Priority pass
Access VIP lounges no matter where which airline and class you fly.
European City Cards
See more and pay less! Get your "passport" to European cities.
Rail Europe
Comfortable and affordable on European trains.
Lonely Planet Magazine
Packed with insider knowledge, hints and tips.
Sandemans New Europe City Tours
Free walking tours in 13 cities within 9 countries.
Sol Melia Wednesdays
Search your exclusive special offers now for the coming weekend!
Low-cost shuttle and private transfers in over 70 countries.
IMEX Frankfurt 25-27 May
The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
Subscribe to Travelio News Summary via RSS Follow our news titles on Twitter Become a fan of on Facebook Bookmark and Share