Ethiopian Airlines today celebrated the maiden flight of its female Captain Amsale Gualu Endegnanew. Captain Amsale proudly took off her first flight from the left hand seat of the flight deck of a Q-400 aircraft from Addis Ababa to Gondar then to Axum and finally returned back to Addis Ababa after a total of 3.6 flight hours.
Captain Amsale joined Ethiopian Airlines Pilot Training School on July 10, 2000 and started her career as first officer on November 26, 2002. Since then, she has trained and worked on Fokker-50, 757 and 767 aircraft as first officer. Captain Amsale has been able to complete successfully all the necessary training requirements and passed through rigorous checks to gain her four stripes. She has a total of 4475 flight hours under her belt when she becomes the commander-in-chief of her flight.
Ato Tewolde G. Mariam, Designate Chief Executive Officer of the airline, families and friends of Captain Amsale warmly welcomed her at the Addis Ababa International Airport on her return flight from Axum. During the occasion, Ato Tewolde said, "We congratulate Captain Amsale on her outstanding achievement. Captain Amsale deserves the recognition as she has demonstrated tremendous dedication to reach the pinnacle."
In her brief statement to the audience of staff, friends and family members Captain Amsale said, "It is a great privilege to become the first female captain of the national carrier. I have been trained and passed through various ladders at Ethiopian Airlines. The company has been very supportive of my efforts to realize my vision of becoming a captain."
Congratulating Captain Amsale on the occasion, Wzo Elizabeth Getachew, A/Senior Vice President Human Resource Management and the highest ranking female executive in the airline said, "Captain Amsale’s success is a great achievement on her part and it is also an achievement for the airline. It is my hope that other females will be inspired by her success and Ethiopian will see more female candidates in the near future"
Ethiopian currently has four female pilots working as first officers.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the recent addition of flight services to Pointe Noire, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 39 cities in Africa and a total of 59 international destinations spanning throughout four continents.
Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 on November 25, 2009 and "Airline of the Year" award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) on November 24, 2009, bringing the total Awards honored since January 2009 to five.
In August, 2008, Ethiopian won “the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award” of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry.
Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.
Ethiopian was the winner of the ‘2008 Best Airline in Africa Award’ at the African Travel Award ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, for its excellent network and convenient connections in Africa.