The proportion of female pilots recruited by easyJet has doubled amid efforts to make its flight crew more diverse and to cut a gender pay gap.

The low-cost airline is due to say today that 49 pilots hired this year – 13% – are women, up from only 6% two years ago.

The carrier expects this to rise to a fifth by the end of the decade.

Aviation remains one of the most male-dominated professions, with women making up only 3% of commercial pilots worldwide.

EasyJet introduced its Amy Johnson Flying Initiative, named after the 1930s aviator, two years ago.

The airline admitted that the low number of female pilots had affected the gender pay gap of the entire company, which stands at 51.7%.

This was “strongly influenced” by the dominance of men on its pilot roster, with pilots paid an average of £92,000, compared with £24,800 for cabin crew.

Head of flight operations David Morgan told The Times that male and female pilots and crew were paid equal salaries.