Just before stepping down as CEO of British regional carrier Flybe, Christine Ourmières-Widener took a minute to talk to Skift Airline Weekly at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul.
Ourmières-Widener’s two years at the helm of Flybe were tumultuous, she acknowledged, and culminated with the carrier’s acquisition by Virgin Atlantic. But she noted that she focused on saving the airline and getting it back on its feet, even if that meant selling it. And she pointed out that her first priority was saving jobs, and of that Ourmières-Widener said she’s very proud.
With Ourmières-Widener’s departure, the already small circle of women airline CEOs gets even smaller. She said the industry has to do better to attract and mentor young women as they rise through the ranks. She also said efforts have to begin earlier — at school, to encourage girls to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.
Listen for the full interview with Skift Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan