To show the importance and contribution to aviation by women, Iberia Airlines named it’s A320neo in honor of the first Spanish female pilot. Currently, 85 women work as pilots for Spanish national carrier, which comprises 6% of cockpit staff. While the percentage is small, the carrier employs more women staff than the industry average.

The airplane Iberia has chosen is the most innovative and technologically advanced. The aircraft seats up to 186 passengers and boasts a range of 3,400 nautical miles. Furthermore, it is more fuel-efficient and emits 5000t less CO2 per year than previous generation jets.

María Bernaldo de Quirós

María Bernaldo de Quirós was born in Madrid on 26th of March 1898. She always dreamt of flying as a child and finally she received her pilot license in 1928. Maria learned to fly in a de Havilland DH.60 Moth at the Getafe aerodrome south of Madrid, because of her high flying skills she earned the nickname “Miss Golondrina” (swallow).

While performing at air shows throughout northern Spain, she once flew over the car of the Duke of Segovia, showering him and the car with flower petals.

No limits for women

During the 1920’s women were expected to stay home, cook, clean etc. These obligations did not exist for Maria, as she was a modern woman saying:

“As public opinion evolves, people will realize that women can do more than just embroider.”

Although, Maria’s career lasted for only 8 years, she broke the stereotype that women cannot to fly. Iberia Airlines wanted to emphasize and highlight that Maria Bernaldo de Quirósas is a real role model for young women that dream about career in aviation. Now, her name is truly immortalized on the fuselage of Airbus A320neo.