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It’s a woman’s World: KQ flies only-women flights to mark key day

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 9 – Kenya Airways literally flew into the International Women’s Day with a special treat to its female stars, including pilots and engineers.

The airline dispatched two flights-to New York and Lusaka-on Sunday with women pilots and crew members in a special treat in recognition of the important day for women marked Globally.

Celebrated female Captain Irene Koki Mutungi was in charge of a special Women’s Day flight that departed Nairobi for New York on Sunday morning, with three female pilots on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the fourth pilot being first officer Patrick Kipsambu.

The cabin crew was a 50/50 split. Koki was the first African female pilot to fly the Dreamliner.

The crew on KQ002 that flew to New York.

Captain Koki said, “It has been amazing, having been the only woman pilot for six years, and now we have over 30 women pilots in Kenya Airways, it says a lot about our airline, which is a mid-size airline, and I think percentage wise we must be one of the highest employers of women, which is great for Africa and the world.”

The national carrier’s flight to Lusaka was all-female crew led by Captain Patsy Ouma.

One of the flights to and from Mombasa was also all-female crew with Captain Fiona Ngumi in Charge.

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the airline’s policy is to offer equal opportunities to all.  “We celebrate all our employees and we are proud that close to 50 per cent of our workforce is women.”

Captain Irene Koki Mutungi and First Officer Patrick Kipsambu shortly before departure for New York.

Kilavuka emphasized that on this day, Kenya Airways wants to recognize the contribution of its female employees to the aviation industry in general.

According to the United Nations Women, the theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights.”

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Josphine Omenda, a senior engineer at Kenya Airways said that when she joined the airline, engineering was a male-dominated field, but now women are taking up that calling without fear.

Engineer Josephine Omenda servicing a 737-300 engine.

Josephine whose job entails engine servicing and maintenance said, “Women are now being accepted in this field and technology has made our work easier. You do not have to be muscular to do what I am doing now.”

Her colleague, Leah Andeso, a senior engineer at Avionics Workshop was upbeat too. “I would encourage young women aspiring to join engineering to go for it with determination and passion. So many of us have done it, they can do it better.”

And according to the Airline’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Evelyne Munyoki Kenya Airways believes in fair practice and makes sure that opportunities are available to everyone in the organization without discrimination.

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