Aviation: Malawi joins the League of Airlines having All Women Operated flight in Africa


Malawi Airlines recently joined the league of airlines in Africa to have operated an all-women operated flight in the continent.

According to aviationbusinessjournal.aero , the airline operated its maiden all-women operated and supported flight, aimed at encouraging women to pursue careers in aviation.

The airline reveal that the flight which was operated using the Bombardier Q-400 was flown from Blantyre to Dar es Salaam and back, with Capt. Yolanda Ndala Kaunda and Flight Officer (FO), Lusekelo Mwenifumbo, in command of the flight deck and flight technician, Saba Solomon, certifying take offs.

The flight cabin, security, check-in and firefighting were also operated by women. The Control Towers at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) was not left out as it was controlled by three women, completing the set of the all-women crew.

The First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, Madame Dr. Gertrude Mutharika, who witnessed the historic flight, states that the all-women flight was a symbol that Malawi was on the right track towards women empowerment.

She says: “Let me emphatically add that this first ever All-Women Flight has confirmed that sky is no longer the limit for women. Today, women have come to demolish all boundaries that kept us confined in certain narrow spaces for far too long.”

Malawi Airlines, Chief Executive Officer, Ahadu Simachew, says the ‘special flight’ was organized to showcase that women were as capable of handling challenging endeavours, such as flying, which are mostly dominated by men.

Similarly, Africa’s largest airline group, Ethiopian Airlines, operated an all-operated women flight from Addis Ababa its hub to Lagos to mark the airline’s 70th year anniversary.

According to atqnews.com, the plane which landed at the Lagos airport with 391 passengers, 11 crew and 2 pilots was received with water showers and resounding cheers from stakeholders in the industry who had come to witness the historic event, the first of its kind in Africa.

Responding to reporters Captain Amsale Gualu sad,” my first African flight was historic and it was good. This is not my first international flight but it’s my first all women flight. And I am privileged to be part of this flight. I did not feel uncomfortable, not at all, that was a day to day experience.”

The carrier repeated the feat again in March 2018 with an all-women operated flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said, “We are glad to add Buenos Aires, our 6th gateway to the Americas, to our extensive global network. Our new flight to Buenos Aires will provide efficient connections to our network in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, including Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai, Beirut, Nairobi, and Cairo. We are all the more happy that the flights will be launched on 8 March, International Women’s Day. To mark this important occasion and as part of our commitment of mainstreaming gender into our core business, we have made the inaugural flight on 8 March an All Women Operated Flight.

Its history making with an all-women flight started when the African airline launched an all-women operated flight; from planning to ground service to the cockpit, operated an intercontinental flight from Addis Ababa to Bangkok, Thailand.

Kenya Airways also marked its 40years anniversary since it began operations with all-female flight. The national carrier announced it would offer its customers up to 40 per cent discount in a move aimed at steering it back to profitability. But discount wasn’t the only announcement Kenya Airways would be making, KQ also announced first ever all-female flight deck crew would be flying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from London to Nairobi

Kenya Airways isn’t the first African airline to have an all-female flight deck crew; Air Zimbabwe was the very first. Captains Chipo M. Matimba and Elizabeth Simbi Petros of Air Zimbabwe flew Boeing 737 from Harare to Victoria Falls in November 2015.

In 2009, Aero achieved a rare feat in Nigeria and West Africa’s aviation history by rolling out the first all-female flight crew which set off for Warri, Delta State and returned safely to Lagos without any problem.

The crew, comprising Captain Bolaji Agbelusi, First Officer Yop Wash and cabin executives Jennifer Uloma Shodeinde and Catherine Ekanem, flew out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2), in the Dash-8 aircraft at 11:55 hours and returned later to the warm embrace of key players in the industry.

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