Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, a global aviation week for girls and women of all ages, presents a unique and free opportunity for flight schools to secure new students.
Held annually during the week of March 8, the week has already attracted 96,000 individuals who want to take a good look at aviation. In just six years, its impact is registering positively on FAA female student start statistics.
In 2016, any female who takes a free or paid introductory flight from March 7 to 13 and reports it on the week’s official website by the March 15 deadline is eligible to win an Apple Watch, an iPad mini, and other prizes—as well as flight training cash if she decides to take the next step, learning to fly, without delay. On average, these First to Solo Challenge winners solo within six weeks of their first (free or paid) small aircraft flight experience.
More than 70 percent of the challenge’s participants had not even considered becoming a pilot before noticing an invitation to visit a local aviation facility as part of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.
Women are not the only winners. Flight instructors and pilots also become eligible to win prizes when they report their week’s activities.
Flight training centers can benefit greatly. By simply sharing the week’s incentives (download a poster here) within their community and encouraging women to try flying, they can earn the prestigious WOAW-certified Women-Friendly designation. It features an official seal and a prominent listing in aviation’s only peer-reviewed directory. Designation criteria include a minimum of 10 reported introductory flights for females during the weekend, and/or the organization of an official activity.
Women comprise half of the population but less than 6 percent of the pilot population. The number of women who earn more than $100,000 per year has tripled in the past 10 years. Women of Aviation Worldwide Week allows every flight school to venture into this huge market without taking any financial risks.
Encouraging your aircraft renters to offer a first flight to girls of any age, and/or promoting the week’s incentives in your community, along with your introductory flight offer, can pay off not only for your business, but also for the entire industry. The female market is the only market that presents a potential for exponential pilot population growth.
Don’t fly them for free. Fly them for life. Download a poster today.
Mireille Goyer is president of the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide, a not-for-profit global alliance of businesses and organizations dedicated to fostering gender balance in the air and space industry. IWOAW founded the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week initiative and manages the coordination of the week’s official activities.