Airlines are being urged to follow the example of Jet2 by implementing enhancements to maternity pay for women pilots and provisions for parents.

The British Airline Pilots Association launched a ‘Baby on Board’ campaign in earlier in the year to highlight the issue and push for airlines to make the profession more family friendly.

Jet2 is the latest airline – along with Virgin Atlantic – to have introduced enhanced maternity pay after starting the year offering pilots just the statutory minimum.

The pilots’ union welcomed the improvements to maternity, paternity and adoption pay at Jet2.

The company was praised for recognising the barriers that can put people off a piloting career and for taking the first steps towards becoming a family friendly employer.  

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Balpa recognised that low maternity pay is a serious problem which can put women off being a pilot. That’s why we launched Baby on Board, to highlight the issue and push for real changes that mean that parents don’t have to choose between their family and their profession.  

“While we still want to see airlines go even further – and give pilots full pay for the first 26 weeks of their maternity leave and half pay for the remainder of their statutory maternity leave – it is great that Jet2 has recognised the issue and made changes.

“Its policy makes Jet2 one of the industry leaders in terms of maternity, adoption and paternity pay.

“Other airlines must now follow suit. They can’t continue to claim they want to encourage women pilots on one hand while ignoring the huge barriers they face with the other.

“If they really want to see more women pilots, they should give parents fair maternity, adoption and paternity pay.”