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Interview: Air Tahiti Nui Leads the Way in Gender Equity with Caroline Borawski

Air Tahiti Nui's VP for the Americas embodies the airline's commitment to gender equality and empowering women in aviation

by Enrique Perrella

March 7, 2024

Photo: Caroline Borawski, VP North America. Courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui

In the world of aviation, where male dominance has long been the norm, Air Tahiti Nui is breaking barriers and reshaping the narrative.

At the forefront of this transformation is Caroline Borawski, the airline’s vice president for the Americas, whose journey in the aviation industry reflects her dedication and the airline’s commitment to fostering gender equality and empowering women in the field.

Photo: Courtesy of Port of Seattle

Borawski’s connection to aviation is deeply rooted in her childhood. With a father who introduced her to the intricacies of airlines, aircraft types, and schedules at a young age, she recalls being “born into this industry.”

This early exposure laid the foundation for a career that would see her navigate through various roles at different airlines, each contributing to her diverse professional background.

Borawski started her career at JetBlue in the growth phase of the airline. Her role in corporate sales involved challenging industry perceptions and proving that JetBlue could compete as a corporate carrier. The experience taught her to embrace the identity of an “industry disruptor.”

Then, at Norwegian Air, Borawski spearheaded the low-cost carrier’s ambitious transatlantic business. She describes it as an “exciting story,” emphasizing the importance of not being afraid of rejection or failure.

“I learned so much from that position, especially because it was really about honing my skills as a leader and mentor and building a team,” she says. Borawski’s journey continued with Icelandair, Air New Zealand and Finnair, each adding layers to her expertise.

Photo: Courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui

In 2022, she joined Air Tahiti Nui. “I have worked for boutique, low-cost and legacy carriers in the past,” she says. “I have even worked on some of the most competitive transatlantic routes in the world. This experience gives me a unique perspective to bring to Air Tahiti Nui.”

Borawski is helping to lead the airline in celebrating its 25th anniversary and establishing a new interline relationship with Alaska Airlines. “While we may be a smaller airline with only four planes, we should embrace our size and leverage our partnerships,” she says. “We have friends in high places that we can rely on.”

Air Tahiti Nui’s commitment to gender equality goes beyond rhetoric. Addressing the challenges she has faced as a woman in the aviation sector, Borawski acknowledges the significant strides made in recent years.

“Women have come so far in this industry, and there’s still a long way to go, but we’re making progress.”

Borawski shares her pride in seeing female CEOs leading airlines, citing examples such as JetBlue’s Joanna Geraghty. She emphasizes the importance of being a role model, especially for her two daughters, instilling in them the belief that “the sky is not the limit—it’s just the beginning.”

Air Tahiti Nui welcome / Photo: Courtesy of Air Tahiti

The career of Agnès Chantre at Air Tahiti Nui is similarly inspiring. She began her journey as a first officer and eventually became the airline’s chief pilot. This is a rare achievement for a woman in any airline across the globe.

Borawski sees being the only woman on a team as a chance to inspire change. She aspires to a future where diversity in leadership is the norm.

During Covid, she demonstrated determination and a desire to make a difference. Her ability to overcome challenges is an inspiration to aspiring women in the industry.