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Malawi writes own history with all-women operated flight - 16 March, 2017

Malawi writes own history with all-women operated flight

Capt. Yolanda (2nd  from right), FO Lusekelo (fourth from right), Technician Saba (fifth from right) and cabin crew pose with First Lady (in blue) and Spouse to Vice President (first from right) at KIA.

Malawi’s national flag career Malawi Airlines on Thursday booked its space in the aviation history books with the company’s maiden all-women operated and supported flight.

The Bombardier Q-400 flew from Blantyre to Dar es Salaam and back with Capt. Yolanda Ndala Kaunda and FO Lusekelo Mwenifumbo in command of the flight deck and flight technician Saba Solomon certifying take offs. Control Towers at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) where a reception was held before take off for Dar es Salaam were in able hands of three women: Patricia Mwafulirwa, Chikondi Chadza and Jelia Kalinda. Josephine Chapuma and Isabel Kamanga took care of the cabin completing the set of the all-women crew. Security, Check-in and fire fighting personnel were all women.

Malawi Airlines Chief Executive Officer Ahadu Simachew said 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.

“We decided to organize this historic event with the aim to encourage young girls who aspire to pursue careers in aviation but somehow think it is hard and too technical or that it is a no-go zone for women.

“What we are witnessing today is a symbol that women too can thrive in male-dominated fields; all they need is for us to level the playing field,” said Simachew.

Guest of Honour at the special reception First Lady of the Republic of Malawi Madame Dr. Gertrude Mutharika said the all-women flight was a symbol that Malawi was on the right track towards women empowerment.

“And 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,” said the First Lady.

The reception at KIA attracted participation of various sections of society including players in the aviation sector, girl learners, government officials, development partner officials, and leaders of civil society organisations.

Spouse to the Malawi’s Vice President Mrs Mary Chilima also attended the historic event.