A Carlisle woman has been celebrated among the outstanding talent of the UK travel industry.

Kate McWilliams, an airline captain for easyJet, picked up the Woman of the Year Award at the 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards.

Initially nominated in the Tomorrow's Leader category, Kate was relieved not to win as she had not prepared and acceptance speech.

She was even more shocked - and unprepared - when she eventually realised she'd won the top award.

She said: “It was just such an honour to be a finalist. I never imagined I’d win my category never mind the main award of the event.

"I am so lucky to have such great support of my colleagues who were with me on day to celebrate my achievement.”

It came just two weeks after she was honoured as an outstanding new ambassador for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the STEM Inspiration Awards for her efforts to encourage the next generation.

At the age of 26, Kate became the world's youngest commercial airline captain.

She discovered her love for flying when she was just 13, after joining the air cadets.

On her 19th birthday, she started her commercial flying training and by the age of 21 was flying passengers all over Europe with easyJet.

The discouragement she faced from others along her career journey only fuelled her even more to succeed.

A spokesman for everywoman said: "In a world where only five per cent of airline pilots are female, Kate's achievements are exceptional and she is now reaching out to thousands of young girls and boys, encouraging them to also consider a career in aviation."