Ethiopian Airlines Fly with Flies-female Crew from Addis to Lagos


Chinedu Eze and Demola Ojo

Africa’s most profitable airline, Ethiopian Airlines, on Saturday made history as it transported its passengers from the Bole International Airport Addis Ababa to the Murtala International Airport Lagos on a Boeing B777-300 ER plane operated by an all-female crew.

The crew was made up of Captain Amsale Gualu, First Officer Tigist Kibret, and 11 cabin crew members. The flight is the first international flight to be operated by an all-female crew to Nigeria.

The 391 passengers on board the ET 901 flight that lasted approximately four hours, thirty minutes applauded the crew during take-off and after the plane touched down in Lagos.

On arrival in Lagos, the flight was welcomed with water cannons which preceded a ceremony to welcome the historic flight.

The Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Mrs. Nkiru Onyejeocha, commended the Captain and the rest of the crew, saying that their successful flight from Addis Ababa to Lagos is proof that women can achieve so much if given the opportunity.

Onyejeocha also commended Ethiopian Airlines and said it has always partnered Nigeria both in good times and bad. She recalled that earlier this year when the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, was closed for runway repairs, Ethiopian Airlines was the only foreign carrier that agreed to operate from the alternative Kaduna International Airport.

She also noted that the successful operation of the all-female flight by the airline is an incentive to women in Nigeria to realise that the aviation industry is an attractive sector where they can rise to the highest position and that those who dream to be pilots should know that the dream is realisable.

Commenting at the ceremony held at MMIA, Captain Gualu said she was elated to have flown with an all-female crew to Lagos. She revealed that flying was a childhood dream and since she realised it, she has gone on to fly different aircraft types from Bombardier, Q400 to flying the large body aircraft, Boeing B777.

“Since I was a child I wanted to be a pilot,” she said. “When I was young, my father used to take me and my sister to the airport to see aeroplanes take off and land and I used to admire pilots’ uniforms and that was how I developed the passion for flying.

“After my university education, I joined Ethiopian Airlines as a first officer and flew the Fokker 50 and the Boeing B737 and then became a captain,” she said.

The General Manager of Ethiopia Airlines in Nigeria, Firihewot Mekonenn said the airline management was happy to operate the all-female flight to Nigeria.

“Ethiopian Airlines has decided to always reward the Nigerian traveller for the loyalty they have shown to the airline. This is the reason that we are bringing the first all-women operated flight in Africa to Lagos, Nigeria.

“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. One of first female pilots in Africa is a Nigerian.

“Today Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s first four-star airline, is proud to be the first to operate an all-female operated flight to Nigeria. We are all witnesses to history today,” Mekonenn said.

  • Mukhtari

    I’m proud of our ethiopian sisters…go ladies.! No worries we have talented Nigerian ladies too…only we need to stop objectifying ours as only fit for the ‘other room’ and tune down all our whine..waist musicals. With a population like ours…we need to put all to the work room not labor room

  • Emma Mali

    We are in the Era of private jets not Nigerian Airways. I bet you Nigeria will rank as the country with the most private jets in Africa. We are a deep capitalist society and it was PDP that privatized all the Government’s owned enterprise transferring our common wealth to the hands of the few like Dangote, Otedola, Mike oyenuga and others. This Government inherited a destroyed system

    • Mukhtari

      Yeah Elrufai was the BPE..boss who sold Nitel..AP…Agip..NAHCO..liquidated Nigeria Airways then sold the VP guest house to hisself…and the national leader owns Oando and half of Lagos state….

  • Iaac A Olayinka

    We don’t need to be sorry for our plight. We only need to learn from our shameful experiences..Nigeria has many firsts but we have always blown away the chances of continuing to be first..
    Nigeria used to be the first .palm oil/kernel producer in the world, now where does it stand? Indonesia and Malaysia which bought palm seedlings from us now supply us with palm produce; what a shame! Our forefathers were not as greedy as our present rulers who enrich themselves at the expense of the poor masses. Rather than making efforts to move Nigeria forward, they move their family’s pockets forward. Nemesis will catch up with them

  • Ify Onabu

    Setting the pace… that’s the way forward. Empower the girl-child and the world will be a better place. The place of the woman is not only the kitchen and the ‘the other room’.

    • Jon West

      You can tell that to the Dullard from Daura, but he wont listen. You will forever regret bringing that relic of humanity to power in order to devastate Nigeria. To hell with Nigeria!!

  • Jon West

    One of the first female pilots in Africa is a Nigerian? Really? However, today Nigeria Airways is as dead as a Dodo and Ethiopian Airlines is the shining star of African avaiation. The implied insults and patronizing utterances of the Ethiopian crew and officials to the Nigerian people are well deserved .

    We have allowed the least intelligent among us to determine the direction of the country and the results are there for the whole world to see. We welcome an extol the results of the determined efforts of others with water cannons and effusive praise , without appreciating the irony that these developments point to our own failures as a nation and a people. To hell with Nigeria!!

    • Tadele Basazenew Ayele

      we are more mediocre than Nigeria, we are showboats, Don’t believe the photos. if we work like Nigeria, we will be heroes. Don’t be fool, we are mediocre.

      • Jon West

        Lies, lies and more lies, my ear friend, you lie!!!. Yes you may be poorer than Nigeria in general terms, but in reality you have a better organized soceity and your Airline ,Ethiopian , is world class. I have flown Ethiopian many times and there is no showboating. The services are impeccable and the girls are really beautiful, the icing on the cake.

        • Ofuzo

          How did you get from impeccable service to beautiful girls. What is the relationship to the discussion at hand? Have you been to Ethiopia before? The ethiopian guy might have a point. Ethiopian airline might be fantastically good but the same could not be said about everything else in Ethiopia. That’s what the guy was alluding to.

    • Toby

      Shame on my country, Nigeria. A zoo or a jungle?

      • Jon West

        Both actually.

    • Pluti

      Lol, you too dey vex, it’s a step but with hope the country grows

      • Jon West

        You may hope until you join the Sahara, Libya and Mediterranean Sea brigade. Good luck to you.

      • Jo Elue

        The country will never grow with mediocre leadership, too much prayers instead of hardwork, commatose civil society, etc