World’s youngest commercial airline captain… she started flying at 13

She flies Airbus A319 and A320 planes to around 100 destinations

A British woman is believed to have become the world’s youngest ever commercial airline captain at just 26 years old, Metro newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Kate McWilliams, originally from Carlisle, said she gets quizzed about her age by cabin crew and passengers almost every day and most are ‘pleasantly surprised and impressed’ when she tells them her age.

She began flying aged 13 in the air cadets before embarking on a training programme at CTC Aviation in Southampton on her 19th birthday.

In May 2011 she joined easyJet as a first officer and recently took up the rank of captain after passing the airline’s command course.

An easyJet spokeswoman said the Luton-based airline has carried out research which leads it to believe she is the youngest commercial airline captain in the world.

McWilliams said: ‘Personally I don’t think my age matters. I’ve been through the same training and passed the same command course as every other captain so I’ve proven myself capable regardless of my age.

‘I do now get asked how old I am on an almost daily basis which didn’t used to happen when I was a first officer. Usually that question comes from the cabin crew but sometimes passengers ask too…when I tell them I’m 26, most people are pleasantly surprised and impressed with my achievement at such a young age.’

McWilliams lives in Reigate, Surrey, and is based at Gatwick Airport.

She flies Airbus A319 and A320 planes to around 100 destinations, such as Reykjavik, Tel Aviv and Marrakesh.