INTERNATIONAL. International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The day, which has been observed since the early 1900s, also presents a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Airports and other players operating in the travel retail sector around the world marked the occasion with an array of special activities and promotions. The Moodie Davitt Report has compiled some of the most compelling images.

Rio de Janeiro’s main airport – Rio Galeao, which is also named after music icon Tom Jobim – marked the day by temporarily changing its name in honour of Maria da Penha, a prominent women’s rights activist and campaigner against domestic violence.

For ten days from 8 March, the airport will operate with the amended moniker and the gateway will host a number of promotional activities to highlight the move.

RIOgaleão_Aeroporto Maria da Penha 001 (002)

Powerful message: Between March 8-18, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Maria da Penha will lend her name to RIOgaleão

During the period, the airport will be decorated with promotional material related to the campaign and it will have the emblematic voice of Iris Lettieri welcoming visitors who use the gateway’s parking facilities (listen below). Lettieri was the historic voice of the Rio hub for 38 years, offering passenger updates in a distinctive style which attracted much local attention.


Meanwhile Dubai Airports used IWD to highlight “its commitment to accelerating the advancement of women in the workplace”.

It cited data from the Arab Women Organisation which said women accounted for 66% of the UAE’s public-sector workforce, but only 30% were in decision-making roles. Dubai Airports noted 31% of its executive team are women and 36% of them are UAE nationals.

Women Executives of Dubai Airports 2017 IWD

Women execs at Dubai Airports (from L-R): VP Government Excellence & National Identity Samya Ketait; VP Concession Revenue Maureen Bannerman; VP Asset Revenue Rachel Richardson; VP Research Helen Woodrow; SVP Communication & Reputation Anita Mehra; SVP BT Customer Success Clare Ward; EVP Human Resources & Development Ann-Marie Campbell; and VP Talent Development Centre Of Excellence Victoria Redshaw

Dubai Airports Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Development Ann-Marie Campbell said: “Women workers at Dubai Airports are inspiring and of great value to the company.

“Developing and mentoring the next generation of female leaders is a top priority as we strive to increase visibility and accountability of women in all positions especially those in central executive roles.”

Swiss International Airlines, easyJet and Lufthansa were among the airlines to put together all-female flight crews to mark the day.

International Women's Day Easyjet celebrates the day with an all female flight and ground operating crew. Captain Kate McWilliams, 27 - worldÕs youngest female commercial Captain First officer Sue Barrett Cabin Manager Laura Marks Cabin crew Natasha Baker, Charlotte Carr and Nuria Belda Marco.

On easyJet’s EZY8275 flight, which left London Gatwick bound for Madrid, there was a female Captain, First Officer and four female cabin crew. Additionally, a large proportion of the ground staff at Gatwick responsible for boarding the plane and getting it off the ground were also female.

The flight was captained by 27-year-old Kate McWilliams, the world’s youngest female commercial Captain, and co-piloted by First Officer Sue Barrett. Cabin Manager Laura Marks was supported by three female cabin crew; Natasha Baker, Charlotte Carr and Nuria Belda Marco. All are pictured above.

TAV Airports, which operates ten airports in Turkey, Tunisia, Georgia, and Macedonia, marked the day by handing out flowers to passengers.

Retailers and food & beverage establishments at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru offered customers special offers in the name of International Women’s Day.

The UK’s second largest airport, Gatwick Airport, used the day to highlight the achievements of its staff.

And like many international gateways and companies operating in the aviation/travel sector, Helsinki Airport made sure it had updated its messaging to acknowledge the occasion.

Passengers throughout Miami International Airport were handed flowers from representatives of American Airlines and various local officials and authorities. More than 25,000 bouquets were presented, which meant nearly every woman entering Miami-Dade County via MIA had the opportunity to receive flowers.

Flowers handed out included roses, gerbera daisies, carnations and spray chrysanthemums, and they were accompanied by a postcard with information about the global day of recognition. The gifts also highlighted Miami’s special relationship with flowers, and the gateway said it caters for 91% of all flower imports to the US.

Miami Airport International Women's Day 2017

Vehicle rental firm Enterprise at Edinburgh Airport encouraged its team to post images on social media of staff participating in the celebrations. This year’s key tagline from the campaign was centred on ‘being bold for change’, which was highlighted in the below Twitter update from Enterprise Assistant Manager Ciara Diamond.

And here is a video from the hotel team at Pittsburgh Airport Marriott, helping us to round off the celebrations!