Malawi celebrates all-women operated flight: Aviation history for Malawian Airlines

As part of commemorating International Women’s Day, Malawian Airlines on Thursday organised the first ever All-Women operated and supported flight event which saw the only two female Malawian Airlines lady pilots Captain Yolanda  Kaunda and First Officer Lusekelo Mwenifumbo flying the Bombadier Q400 from Blantyre to Dar es Salaam with a stop over at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.

First Lady Mutharika and Mrs Mary Chilima with the two pilots

In control’ flight operated by all women

First Lady with two female captains

The guest of honour at the event which took
place at KIA was First Lady  Getrude Mutharika who was accompanied by Mary Chilima the wife to Vice President Saulos  Chilima.

“We should be proud of these women captains,” Madam Mutharika said.

The event was a milestone for the  Malawian airline as it is the first time in the history of the company to operate such a flight.

Malawian  airline Chief executive Officer, Ahadu Simachew, confirmed that all the flight operations from cockpit, cabin, check-in, customer care, air traffic control to ground handling was all be done by women.

The company said its desire is to contribute towards creating a more gender inclusive world in which women are given a chance and support to thrive in male dominated fields.

“We place immense respect on women and we are an ardent supporter of women empowerment and gender equality. That is why we have over the years made deliberate efforts to increase diversity in the cockpit by training more women pilots to inspire more girls to take up careers in aviation,” the Malawian Airline said.

Yolanda is Malawi’s first female captain.

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At times focusing on the achievement is better than straying from the headlines. It was about international wemen’s week and the company’s initiative to honour women in society. As for me i applaud the two ladies from the presidency for putting up such a show. I admire the Michelle Obama of Malawi Mr, Mary Chilima for her simple but elegant dressing and her ever beaming face. She would come and make a better First Lady and i would like her to come out of her cacoon.


Mayi amatchena awa Mrs. Chilima alibe size. Ndeonani a Grace Obama chakumbalicho dress yosayenera minister aah. anduna ziberaniko matchenedwe kwa azimayi ngati Madam VP


After a long period we hear good news in Malawi.


@makiyolo basi. I totally agree with you. There were women pilots before even flying the Kwacha, Boeing 373.

Whether they came from Nsanje or Chitipa or Hell or Heaven they are Malawian Lady flight commandants. We should be proud of them. PERIOD.

Let us forgive those who have never flown. They make silly comments.

One day I saw a woman operating a Catapillar D7. Is that NOT wonderful and worth praise?????

Yahya Jammeh

I agree she is Yolanda Ndala, unfortunately there is no mapuya puya. If it was these other jobs, the nepotists would have fixed one mapuya. Koma musaiwale mwana wa head anga ku Chichiri Secondary School, a former Kamuzu Academy student was also a female pilot. She flew Air Malawi many years before Air Malawi was liquidated. I will rule Gambia for a billion years.

Kent Y.G. Mphepo
Countrymen, as a father of three daughters, let me congratulate the parents of these three young ladies for the investment they made to enable their girls reach this far. This is great news that our children and sisters can achieve this. As a country we need to celebrate the great achievers among us and I wonder whether government has any plans to enable more girls in the country learn from these two. ‘am talking about girls currently schooling at Mzokoto, Soligin, Hin’hi (in my Ntchisi district), Namitete, etc! With the increasing level of poverty, more and more girls are dropping… Read more »

@ Kent well said. I cannot add more.


@ Bare Zambiri, Veronica Foy is actualy a Captain on widebody aircrafts (eg Boeing 777) for an airline in Vietnam. She gave an interview to one of the local media outlets last year

Chidzukulu cha a Grant
Chidzukulu cha a Grant

Congratulations Yolanda and your Friend. You have made the Grant Family proud. Timakunyadilani


Yolanda is not the first Malawian woman captain. There is a lady who used to fly Air Malawi as a Captain on the ATR and Donier aircrafts. She is now flying wide body aircraft (B777) as Captain in Vietnam. Check your facts!


I can agree with Bare Zimbiri. Malawi has gone down most in everything apart from corruption. But well done our women.

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