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S.Korea's 1st Female Pilots






SEOUL - SOUTH Korea has its first female civil pilots after two women passed a state test, officials said on Wednesday.


Ms Shin Soo Jin, 39, and Ms Hong Soo In, 36, of flag carrier Korean Air, have qualified to fly the B-737 airplane, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority said.


The two joined Korean Air in 1996 when it began hiring female co-pilots, an airline spokeswoman told wires agencies. They are expected to make their maiden flight as pilots in mid-November.


There are 1,731 pilots and 1,826 co-pilots working for South Korean airlines. Korean Air and its rival Asiana have a total of six female co-pilots.


Strict qualifications including more than 4,000 hours of flying experience are required for candidates to qualify as pilots.


'I'm glad that I've achieved my longtime dream,' Ms Shin told the Korea Times.


'Just as we did, junior female pilot-hopefuls will have to undergo tough challenges. I believe in their capabilities.'


Korea has traditionally been a male-dominated society. The US State Department's 2007 human rights report noted that 'gender discrimination in the workplace remained a problem.' -- AFP







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