For the first time in 88 years, South African Airways (SAA) announced two black female pilot captains to join their ranks.
Annabel Vundla (42) and first officer Refilwe Moreetsi (35) were announced during a press briefing at Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday.
Captain Vundla is SAA’s first black African female captain and First Officer Moreetsi is not only a seasoned and experienced pilot, but also the first Black African management pilot, as she is also responsible for Fatigue Risk Management at the airline.
Mpho Letlape, SAA Human Resource Executive says South Africans can feel prod as diversity is now truly represented.
“South Africans can feel proud of a national carrier that is truly represented of our diversity and we celebrate that. SAA is a non-discriminatory, non-racial, equal opportunities employer with a strategic transformational role.
“SAA is a truly transformed airline with an ethnicity count of 63% Africans, 11% coloured’s, 10.5% Indians and 15.5% whites.
“This is a milestone in the transformation of our national carrier. The airline continues to show leadership in transforming the aviation sector and overcoming inequalities in scarce skills and employment opportunities,” says SAA Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Professor John Lamola.
Vundla said it hasn’t been easy but it’s worth all the hard work.
Moreetsi encouraged young girls to continue persevering: “My message to young girls is that your dreams are valid. If this is a career you would like to follow, it is possible. Your gender race is not a barrier.
Meanwhile, airlines in South Africa are rushing to upsize their fleets amid a capacity shortage. Additional seats will make flights more affordable, but misjudging demand could be very costly.
There aren’t enough available aircraft seats to meet South Africa’s demand for domestic travel. This supply shortage has made air fares more volatile and finding a seat at short notice is extremely expensive.
Source: Eyewitness News, Jacaranda FM, Business Insider, image from Twitter: @BreakingMzanzi