American Airlines Marks International Women's Day With All-Female Crew

American Airlines flight #2808 with its all-female crew was an homage to the airlines' first all-female crew in 1986

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North Texas-based American Airlines marked International Women's Day with an all-female crew.

Flight #2808, a Boeing 787 'Dreamliner' took off from Miami International Airport and landed at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Monday morning. Capt. Linda Pauwels led the all-female crew.

"There's a responsibility," Pauwels said. "It's a responsibility to honor those who came before us. It's a responsibility to always strive for excellence, to do a good job, so that the doors remain open for the people who are coming behind us."

The crew took a photo outside the aircraft, mirroring a photo taken in 1986 by American Airlines' first all-female flight crew.

Pauwels said she did not grow up being able to see other female pilots. Rather than discourage her, it fueled her desire to be one.

"Because I was told it wasn't possible," Pauwels said. "So I really decided I would like to prove them wrong."

Pauwels has been breaking through the cloud ceiling ever since. In 1988, she was the youngest female jet cargo airline captain in the world. In 2000 she became American Airlines' first Hispanic female captain. Pauwels also trains pilots on the Boeing 787.

She hopes young women see her and know they can do it, too.

"Not to be limited in what our dreams and desires are," Pauwels said. "These positions are open to us if we work hard, have the training, and the ability to do that."

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