Watch a historic announcement on the first Alaska Airlines flight piloted by 2 African-American women

On Mother's Day, passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 361, from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, watched a special announcement from the pilot.

"As you are getting seated, I'd like to introduce myself and my crew," Capt. Tara Wright tells passengers in a video posted to Facebook on Sunday.

Wright introduces herself and First Officer Mallory Cave, saying, "Today is a fun day."

It was Mother's Day, Wright says, and her father's birthday. But there was something else, too.

Making Alaska Airlines history this morning! First Officer Mallory Cave and I serve as the very first all African-American female crew on Alaska Flt #361, San Francisco to Portland, OR. 👩🏽‍✈️👩🏽‍✈️

Posted by Tara Dillon Wright on Sunday, May 13, 2018

"You're sharing a pretty interesting piece of Alaska Airlines history this morning," Wright says.

"You'll be piloted by two African-American female pilots for the first time in Alaska Airlines history. You're making it this morning, whether you're awake or not," Wright says as passengers cheer.

On Alaska Airlines' Facebook page, the company posted the video, calling it "History in the flying … What Bessie Coleman started in 1921, we continue here."


Coleman (1892-1926) was the first licensed civilian African-American pilot in the world, according to the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Women constituted just 7 percent of pilots nationwide in 2017, according to the FAA's U.S. Civil Airman statistics.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.