"Women in general, face various challenges due to stereotypes that suppress and obstruct their potential, which in the end may result in setback to effective growth in the industry," said the acting Managing Director at Air Namibia, Advocate Mandi Samson when she congratulated Captain Cornelia Hahn and her crew for setting a new record in the airline's history.
Captain Hahn, assisted by First Officers Carol Hein and Eunice de Groot, piloted the Air Namibia flight to Frankfurt on Friday 14 December with nine other cabin crew members, all female ensuring. The aircraft was the airline's flagship Airbus A330-200 and the flight booked a 64% passenger load factor.
After returning to Windhoek on Monday with an 84% load factor, Capt Hahn said this was one of her greatest achievements in the twenty years that she has been flying. "I am honoured to have been part of the historical operation for the national airline and Namibia. It makes me proud, and I hope this encourages young people, especially young women who dream of becoming pilots."
Capt Hahn is Air Namibia's first female pilot certified for long-haul operation.
"This historical operation on Air Namibia's biggest aircraft proves that the aviation sector can accommodate all genders. The battle for a more gender inclusive world is the responsibility of every industry," Adv Samson continued.
The airline stated that this flight encourages young girls to see beyond traditional female roles and to utilise their own skills to play an important part in their country's economic development.
"I feel it's been my duty since I joined Air Namibia to invite young and vibrant females to join the aviation industry. It has been proven time and again that women can effectively execute jobs that are traditionally male-dominated. At Air Namibia, we have made positive strides in all sectors of our business, to reach equal gender representation. We hope this milestone encourages more women to join the aviation industry," concluded Adv Samson.