United Airlines special flight in June
On Saturday morning, United Airlines commemorated Juneteenth with a special flight operated by an all-black team member from Houston to Chicago. All of the team members involved in UA1258 were black, including the flight crew, pilots, door attendants, ground crew, maintenance technicians, handlers and flight dispatchers.
The Boeing 787-9 left Houston at 10:30 a.m. and landed in Chicago at 1:06 p.m., after a 2:10 flight. This special occasion was commemorated on both sides – the mayor of Houston spoke before the flight, there was a water cannon salute in Houston and Chicago, and the flight captain even played the saxophone. How cool is that ?!
This flight was organized by BEACON, United’s Black Business Resource Group.
Here’s a video United took of the flight:
And here are some photos provided by United of the flight:
While we’ve seen many airlines operate special flights with all-female crews in the past, to my knowledge this is the first time an all-black crew has been celebrated in this way in the United States.
It’s part of United’s larger diversity effort
United Airlines strives to improve its diversity. In April 2021, United set a new diversity target for pilots. United is the only major airline in the United States to have a flight school, and the airline hopes to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030 (at the end of the program, pilots are guaranteed employment with United ).
United has set a target for 50% of pilots trained in this way to be women and / or people of color. To be clear, United will be hiring pilots in other ways, which doesn’t mean 50% of the pilots hired will be women or people of color, but that only applies to those who are school-trained. steering committee of United.
There is currently a huge gender and race gap when it comes to airline pilots – only 5% of pilots are female and only 1% of captains are female. In the meantime, there are even fewer color pilots. Or if you want to look at the number of female airline pilots of color in the United States, that number is less than 150.
At the end of the line
United Airlines celebrated June 15 by operating a flight with an all-black team between Houston and Chicago. This not only included flight attendants and pilots, but also dispatchers, gate attendants, crawlers, caterers, etc.
Well done, United, it’s very cool to see!