Although the work towards equality never ends, today’s women have more economic and societal freedom than ever before. In particular, millennial women are waiting longer to get married and are spending more time getting an education, working, and traveling. There are handful that even travel for a living. Maria Pettersson of Gothenburg, Sweden, is one of many women that are changing what travel looks like, and she’s doing it from the cockpit. That’s right. She’s a commercial pilot for the budget airline Ryanair. Pettersson became a pilot at just 25 years old (and a commercial pilot at 30), and now lives in Sicily, but as you’ll discover on her website and Instagram, you can find her all over the world. In addition to being a pilot, she is also an active yogi. While operating a plane is a high pressure job, Pettersson told Mailonline that her schedule allows for plenty of time to rest. “Our roster is a five days on four days off pattern and we operate from our home base so I get to sleep in my own bed every night. Always having four days off after five working days is amazing. It gives me more than enough time to rest and spend time with family and friends.” Check out photos from her Instagram below. They may just inspire a new a career path.No, this isn’t a photo shoot. This is Maria in her ‘office.’
Ryanair Ltd. is an Irish budget airline that started operations in 1985. As of 2013, it is the largest European airline and the busiest international airline.
According to FAA’s Aeronautical Center, women make about 5% of all pilots.
According to her official website, Pettersson is excited whenever she learns others are interested in the profession. Despite her schedule, she makes it a point to answer questions on social media and her blog.
She secured her position just like any other pilot would, through training, hard work, and patience. Her site reads that she received her Private Pilot License (PPL) at the age of 25 but wishes she started earlier.
“It was intense, I had no idea what I got myself into. I did my PPL in ten weeks, it was a full time job,” she wrote on her blog. If you are interested in learning more, make sure to check out her site. She spares no detail for the reader’s benefit.
In addition to cockpit photos, she frequently posts athletic selfies and travel photos with friends around the world.
Little is said of the world of aviation and many of us assume that there is little time to do anything else, but @pilotmaria proves that it is definitely possible to maintain a work life balance.
The sky’s the limit for some pilots, but this one likes to stay active on ground and in the water as well.
The young woman has over 200,000 Instagram followers, ranging from teenage girls who want to be just like her to professional photographers who would love to work with her. Who could blame them?
Maria has been gaining quite a bit of attention lately and has responded with only positivity. She seems like a beautiful person, inside and out!
According to one interview, she’s already been to Berlin, London, and Stockholm this summer.
So far, Colombia is her favorite destination because of the breathtaking beaches, hikes, and rainforests. She also loves visiting cities like New York.
“I never thought becoming a pilot was an option for me due to the high costs and the fact that most pilots were men,” she revealed in an interview.
“The more I thought about it the more I wanted it and I knew it was the perfect fit for me,” she continued. She worked hard to front the costs for flight training and made sure to keep up with her studies. Finally, what seemed like an impossible dream became a reality.
We also hope to learn more about about the world of aviation from Maria. She says that this world is a lot bigger than we think and than she initially thought. “There is everything from pilots, ground crew, flight spotters, flight simulator pilots- the list can be long.”