Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Aviation, Mr. Nkieruka Onyejeocha, had lauded the management of Ethiopian Airline for choosing Nigeria as its first route to operate an all-female crew flight on the latest Boeing 777 -300 into the country’s airport.
The aircraft had touched down the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos about 1.24pm on Saturday, carrying 391 passengers. Every aspects of the flight – from the pilot in command to the co-pilot, engineers on board, ground handling crew, flight dispatchers, and cabin crew (air hostess) – were handled by women. It was a landmark event that was witnessed by a lot of prominent women in Nigeria’s aviation sector. Onyejeocha who spoke at brief reception held for the all-female-crew at the Lagos airport commended Ethiopian Airlines for taking the decision to train and empower women to take up carriers in very technical aspects of the aviation industry. She said the feat achieved by the Ethiopian women who flew (and also managed) the latest Boeing 777-300 aircraft, a very complex machine, from Addis Ababa to Lagos would serve as a source of encouragement to young Nigerian girls to take up carriers in a male-dominated industry like aviation.
“This is a call for Nigerian airlines to also train our females in aspects of the aviation industry,” she said. “This should serve as motivation to young Nigerian women,” she added. General Manager, Ethiopian Airlines Nigeria, Mrs. Firihewot Mekonnen, in her speech said Ethiopian Airline had chosen Nigeria for the inaugural Boeing 777 all female crew because Nigerians have always seen the airline as their own.
“This is an epoch-making event happening for the first time in Africa and I am most privileged to be a woman,the first female General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Nigeria and also to be the one receiving this very important flight to Lagos,” said Mekonnen. “Nigeria is not just our great partner but also a country that has shown Africa what women can do. Women can achieve a lot and Nigeria is a leading light in women empowerment in Africa. This is the reason that we are bringing the first all women operated flight in Africa to Lagos Nigeria,” she added. The Pilot-in-Command of the flight, Captain Amsale Gualu (Ms) in her statement said, “this flight shows us that if women get equal opportunities and work hard I am sure they can achieve whatever they want in all fields including the aviation industry.” The all female crew had Ms. Tigist Kibret as First Officer (Co-pilot).