Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nigeria records first all-female crew flight

It was all exitement on Wednesday at Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos as Nigeria operated its first all-female crew flight from Osubi Airport in Warri, Delta.
The flight which conveyed passengers into Lagos, had two female pilots and two cabin crew ushering the Dash-8 turbo-prop aircraft into the MMA 2 terminal, on an Aero Contractors flight.
The Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Dr Harold Demuren and other dignitaries in the nation’s aviation industry, were all cheers as the aircraft touched down at the tarmac.
Speaking on the development, Demuren said it was a great day for Nigeria in the industry.
``This is what we have been praying for. This is a great day for Nigeria. We have this aircraft coming from Osubi in Warri to Lagos airport, all flown by entire female crew,” he said.
``The captain, the first officer and the two cabin crew are all female and I am happy about this. This is good for Nigeria,” he added.
Demuren stated that the operation of the flight had again underscored the success the nation is making in its quest to encourage more female pilots who were not as prone to brain-drain as men.
He said the nation would see more of such all-female-crew-operated flights, adding that there was a proposal to fund training of more of such pilots using the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) fund.
``If I have four applications and see two women there, I am most likely going to take the two. We will fund the training.,” he said.
The commander of the flight, Capt. Bolaji Agbelusi, recounting her experience, said it was a normal flight but the applause by the passengers was encouraging.
``Passengers had no idea of what they were getting into, but at the end of the day, they were happy to be part of history,” she said.
She said she had been flying for more than 12 years and said her husband had been very supportive.
Rev. Yemi Agbelusi, her husband, who was at the airport to receive her, said he was proud of his wife.