Africa’s first black female Boeing 787 Dreamliner certified Captain, Irene Koki Mutungi, jetted into the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Thursday afternoon to deliver Kenya Airways’ fourth Dreamliner.
In a feat that will go down history as a first in Africa’s aviation industry, the Kenya Airways crew that flew in the new aircraft also included a female Flight Purser, Load Master and Cabin Crew.
The wide-bodied plane’s delivery from the manufacturer’s- Boeing Corporation- Assembly Site in Charleston, South Carolina, in the United States to Kenya Airways’ Nairobi hub, now pushes KQ’s fleet count to 37 planes in active operation.
Globally, Captain Koki is highly regarded as the first black female pilot certified to captain the state-of-the-art aircraft.
As part of its fleet renewal strategy, Kenya Airways, is in the process of taking delivery of five more Dreamliner airplanes from Boeing Corporation, to complete an order for nine such aircrafts.
The plane landed at exactly 12:45pm to a round of applause and ceremonial water cannon shower by the Kenya Airports Authority Fire Brigade team.
On hand to receive Captain Mutungi and her all ladies crew was Kenya Airways Finance Director Alex Mbugua who acknowledged the historical milestone in the delivery of the aircraft.
“This is a historical moment for Kenya Airways as we have proved to the world and our aviation peers of our deliberate commitment to human resource development by providing an equal opportunity to our sisters,” Mbugua said. “I look forward to a day in the near future when this aircraft will be managed by a 100% Ladies crew now that we have two first officers already undergoing certification training,” he added.
By receiving the fourth Dreamliner and with two more to go by October this year, Kenya Airways is maintaining its corporate focus on a strategic effort to renew its aircraft fleet to guarantee cost efficient service delivery.